Tyron Woodley appears to be taking his knockout loss to Jake Paul in stride, but the same can’t be said for fellow former UFC champion Daniel Cormier.
During a segment on ESPN, Cormier lambasted Woodley not just for being KO’d by the YouTube star but also in the way that he’s handled being on the wrong end of that highlight. This week, Woodley held a contest to see who could create the best meme of the unfortunate ending of his rematch with Paul and the winner was paid $5,000.
That didn’t sit well with Cormier.
“T-Wood’s my boy, I love T-Wood,” Cormier said (h/t MMA Mania). “That was not good, that’s a bad look. And you know what’s worse? The after. I don’t know what T-Wood’s doing on social media. He posts the knockout, he makes a contest about it—It’s like Jake Paul is beating these dudes so bad that they start to make fun of themselves.”
This is is the second time that Paul has beaten Woodley — the first bout in August ended in a split call in Paul’s favor — and the third straight win over an MMA star. In April, Paul defeated Woodley’s teammate Ben Askren by first-round TKO to improve his pro boxing record to 5-0.
Cormier, a two-division champion during his time in the UFC, has had his own run-in with Paul in the past, but he is giving “The Problem Child” his due after Saturday’s win.
“This is the problem with those guys going to fight Jake Paul because look at what happens,” Cormier said. “I’m watching the fight on Saturday — streaming the fight on my phone — and Tyron’s in there kind of doing his thing and then Jake Paul starts to build some momentum.
“Bro, that right hand that he hit Tyron with it was actually pretty slick because what he did was he feinted at him. He feinted at T-Wood, T-Wood dropped his hand, so that when he threw the second one and the hand dropped it wasn’t an overhand right, it was a hook. That’s how you know he got the brother, because T-Wood said, ‘He got me with the overhand right.’ He don’t even know what got him.”
Matching up with the popular social media figure has reportedly been a financial boon for Woodley and Askren. However, Cormier is concerned with the optics of seeing those former champions lose to a celebrity and the affect it might be having on their reputations.
“My biggest issue is these guys go in there to fight this dude, they lose to him,” Cormier said. “Ben Askren was immediately almost making fun of himself. It’s almost like you’re so embarrassed that you lost to the Disney kid or the YouTuber that you start to almost become self-depreciating [sic]. It’s bad. It’s bad what’s happening to these dudes.
“What’s unfortunate is I’m like, ‘Tyron got him this time. Tyron got him.’ You told me, ‘No way Tyron gonna beat this dude, he gonna lose.’ I’m like, ‘You’re crazy.’ This guy goes and knocks T-Wood out, man, it was bad.”