Sean O’Malley can’t look at Tyron Woodley the same way after the former UFC welterweight champion was knocked out cold by Jake Paul.
In the aftermath of Woodley’s ugly loss to Paul this past Saturday, there has been a lively public debate as far as how much the 39-year-old Woodley’s legacy has been hurt by his two-fight series with Paul. On the one hand, Woodley is widely regarded as one of the best ever to compete at 170 pounds in MMA; on the other hand, he just lost back-to-back fights to a boxer who until recently was best known for his wacky YouTube videos and constant social media presence.
On his TimboSugarShow podcast, O’Malley let it be known that he’s on the side who believes Woodley has done irreparable damage to his career after being Paul left him face-down on the canvas in Tampa, Fla.
“It completely destroyed his f*cking legacy,” O’Malley said.
“That could affect Tyron Woodley big time or he could just be completely unattached to that and still be happy, but that’s a f*cking skill that you have to acquire I feel like,” he added.
Woodley, for his part, appears to be taking the loss well, going as far as to hold a contest for who could create the best meme of his knockout loss. “The Chosen One” paid $5,000 to the contest’s winner.
O’Malley also praised Paul, who improved to 5-0 as a pro boxer in his young career. Paul has plenty of criticism for his promotional tactics and choice of opponents, but O’Malley thinks it’s undeniable that Paul has shown he can be competitive in boxing.
“It’s pretty cool though to see from Jake — he just started boxing not too long ago — kind of manifesting these big fights and how much self-belief and manifesting can get you what you want,” O’Malley said. “But with that, just as much and how important is hard work, which obviously Jake’s f*cking for him to be boxing three years and then go and knock out Tyron Woodley. That means he’s been in the gym very consistently, improving, and has a good mind set going into the fight. It’s pretty cool to see, inspiring.”
As for what’s next for Paul, O’Malley doubts that any of the former YouTubers desired UFC matchups (such as Nate Diaz, Jorge Masvidal, or Conor McGregor) comes to fruition because of dynamics of the negotiation that would have to take place between Paul’s team and UFC President Dana White.
However, if White desired to shut down the Paul hype train, O’Malley sees an opportunity for him to do so.
“Not anyone that’s contracted with the UFC, it’s not gonna happen unless Dana really, really wants to see Jake lose and really, really, truly believes Kamaru [Usman] can go in there and do it. Then I think it might happen.
“I’d have to see it. He’s the complete opposite fighter of Tyron Woodley. Kamaru’s not gonna go in there and try to look for a right hand, he’s gonna go in there and probably f*cking jab, jab, setup. I don’t know, it’s very hard to say.”
O’Malley also gave an update on his health, saying that he has been diagnosed with a hairline fracture in his thumb. He has to talk to the UFC’s doctors before he can have a better idea of when he might fight again. According to the official list of medical suspensions, O’Malley will likely require clearance from an orthopedic doctor or he could be out of action until June.