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Tyron Woodley reacts to devastating knockout loss to Jake Paul: ‘Why the f*ck did I drop my hand?’

Tyron Woodley knows it only takes one mistake in combat sports to cost you everything.

That’s a lesson he’s dished out plenty during his mixed martial arts career. But on Saturday night, he suffered that same fate in the boxing ring after Jake Paul dropped him face-first to the canvas with a devastating right hand in the sixth round of their rematch.

While he doesn’t exactly remember the brutal knockout, Woodley saw the replay afterwards and recognized right away what he did wrong that opened the door for Paul’s highlight-reel finish.

“I went back and I looked at it and I’m like why the f*ck did I drop my hand?” Woodley said at the post-fight press conference. “I had both hands up. I knew it was coming. I was ready to block.

“He threw the overhand and I don’t know if he delayed it — even if he didn’t delay it — I don’t know why I dropped my hand. In this sport, it only takes one mistake. Literally one mistake.”

After losing a close split decision back in September, Woodley had been pushing for a rematch with Paul but didn’t actually get the fight until two weeks ago, when Tommy Fury was forced out of the event with an injury and an illness.

Woodley jumped at the chance to face Paul for a second time with the mindset that he would right the wrongs from the first fight, where his inactivity likely cost him multiple rounds on the scorecards.

“The goal this time around was to extend my punches, to work the body a little bit, to press him a little bit more, to be a little bit more active,” Woodley explained. “I didn’t want to let him get three rounds ahead and then start peppering the steak and then me not returning it back, because I thought I did a great job returning it back.

“It was a chess match to try and get a shot in. He got a couple clean shots in, I got a couple clean shots in. But defensively, I think both of us showed that we were sharper than the last time. We grew as fighters. I can’t really tell you exactly why. Sometimes I felt like I was too tense and I may have dropped [my hands] to just breathe and loosen up.”

The rematch was relatively close through five rounds, although the judges still had Paul ahead prior to the knockout. Still, Woodley felt like he was doing the right things in order to get the win until disaster struck in that sixth round.

While Woodley still gives former Strikeforce champion Nate Marquardt credit as the fighter who has hit him the hardest during his career, he definitely paid homage to Paul for the unbelievable power he unleashed in order to end their fight in such dramatic fashion.

“When Jake hit me, the second I dropped my hands, it’s not like he wrapped around my neck,” Woodley said. “When I dropped my hands, I kind of almost exposed it here [by my ear] so he kind of hit right here and that’s a equilibrium shot. Anybody can lose their balance on that side. Hit me with a clean, flush shot.

“That’s the only thing that’s driving me up a wall. I saw the shot and right when he threw it, I had both hands up blocking it, and I don’t know if I was going to block it and counter and check hook. I don’t know what the f*ck I was going to do. But I dropped that damn hand and he got that motherf*cker through, didn’t he?”

As Woodley was addressing the media, Paul actually joined him on stage and they embraced after sharing the ring together for more than 40 minutes through two fights.

Despite some nasty back-and-forth exchanges through interviews and social media, Woodley promised it was never personal with Paul, but rather just two competitors bringing the best out of each other.

“The rivalry was competitive athleticism,” Woodley said. “You want that. I’m tired of everybody f*cking talking mad sh*t during press conferences and kissing and hugging at the end of the fight. No, let’s f*cking fight. That’s what I came to do.

“I never disrespect him. He never disrespected me. He gave me credit, I gave him credit, but he truly was convicted that he was going to beat me and I was truly convicted that I was going to beat him. That’s what y’all want to see. We really gave y’all what you wanted to see.”

At age 39, Woodley is on the backside of his career, but two losses to Paul won’t stop him from going back to the gym with absolute focus on returning to fight again.

Prior to Saturday night, Woodley anticipated having at least four fights in 2022 across multiple disciplines in combat sports — and it appears he’s going to try to keep that schedule in the new year.

“I’m not done,” Woodley declared. “Please do not look at me with sorrow eyes. Please do not look at me shaking your head. I done f*cked a lot of people up. A lot of people had to have that talk in the locker room. A lot of coaches had to go back to the drawing board. A lot of people, in their mind, they knew that they knew, and I saw in their faces and I broke their heart when I took that from them.

“At some point, you’re going to have to start putting a little bit of respect on Jake’s name. I never really disrespected him as a power puncher. That’s something we always knew. That’s why my defense was so tight. Had he dropped his hand on me, the same sh*t would have happened. I can’t cry over spilled milk. I’m blessed to be here. I’m blessed for the opportunity to fight again and show you guys that I’m f*cking still here.”

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