For Tyron Woodley, “I Love Jake Paul” is not just a lost bet, but a reminder of his rivalry with the YouTuber.
When Woodley committed the ink to his body, the product of a bet with Paul, he said he put it in a place where it wouldn’t survive that long: his middle finger. According to the ex-UFC champ, the tattoo is already fading. But he’s not in any hurry to see it go.
Woodley obviously didn’t want to have to get his opponent’s name tattooed on his body when he lost a split decision to Paul in August. But now that it’s here, he’s accepted it as something of a badge of honor, a testament to their success in generating a ton of interest – and, ultimately, money – when they first boxed in August.
“It’s not really a motivator,” Woodley said Wednesday during a media scrum in support of his rematch against Paul on Showtime. “It’s a part of the story. I watched my peers walk around with some dumb-ass sh*t tattooed on their face that they have to live with until they’re 80 years old. So for me, it’s just a reminder of what we did, what we created.
“I never saw how many people were there. I never saw how electric the arena was, and [the tattoo] is a part of the story. So at the end of the day, it’s almost done, I don’t have to look at it too much longer. When I go out there and knock his ass out on Saturday, I’m not even going to trip about the tattoo.”
Four months after the fight, Paul and Woodley are back with another bet. Paul has offered the ex-UFC champ $500,000 if he can win the rematch by knockout. Even before his manager finished telling him that Paul’s originally scheduled opponent, Tommy Fury, had withdrawn from the fight, Woodley was in.
“When was that fight really on? Who gave a f*ck about that fight,” he said. “I didn’t. Did you go crazy about his last fight. I don’t remember nobody talking about Tommy Fury talking about Anthony. He was the ‘MMA fighter’ that he’s supposed to make light work of, and nobody spoke about that fight.
“So now, you’re talking about the fight that people want to see. The real beef, the real drama. His coaches are over there looking at me. They better look, but they can’t stop me.”
After Saturday night, Woodley said the YouTuber is going to have a much more lasting reminder of their second meeting.
“He’s going to get my fist tattooed across his forehead,” Woodley said.