Based on that, the “BMF” champ is picking Woodley not only to beat Paul, but to give the YouTube star turned pugilist an introduction to the violent endings he’s handed opponents like Ben Askren.
Masvidal may have seen Paul hit mitts and do some light sparring as he prepared for Askren, but the relationship with Woodley goes much deeper, with the former UFC welterweight champion once calling the American Top Team flagship gym home alongside “Gamebred.”
Masvidal and Woodley haven’t just worked out in the same room – they’ve actually worked out together.
“So it’s not to diss Jake, but you’ve been watching MMA for a minute,” Masvidal said on The MMA Hour. “Woodley can throw them hands. Ben Askren never could. So it’s like you’ve got a guy that can fight if it’s slinging fists. Woodley could have made his money grappling, which he did. He was good enough of an athlete, and he was good enough of an athlete to make his money with his hands to knock people the f*ck out.
“So I don’t think – I know Jake’s never been in there with a guy like that, that’s explosive, is a good athlete, and has a ton of experience over him. So if Jake wins, f*cking wild, my hat’s off to him, I was wrong, I don’t know sh*t about fighting. But, chances are, Woodley’s going to knock him the f*ck out.”
Masvidal said he’s willing to wager on that outcome, and given odds against Woodley he called “f*cking crazy as f*ck...it means I’m going to make money.”
There’s a big difference, Masvidal said, between watching a fighter in training and in real life. Separate from their time together in the gym, he’s also watched Woodley’s decorated career play out. And while he respects what Paul is doing and sees a talented young athlete, he sees a gap between the opponents that will manifest on Aug. 29 when they meet in an eight-round boxing match.
“I’ve only seen [Paul] from fights and the footage that he has online when he’s fought at 100 speed,” Masvidal said. “That being said, I’ve also seen Woodley when he’s hitting pads, when he’s sparring at 100 and when he’s fighting at 100, and when I do the math, Woodley wins. Woodley just wins. As long as he did his part, which is train, leading up to the moment, was in the gym, doing his thing, he’s going to win. He’s just too much experience and athleticism on that side.
“I think Jake’s a good athlete, but Woodley’s a different type of athlete, that next next level. Jake’s going to feel it in the fight. I don’t think he’s even ever sparred with somebody as athletic as Woodley that can cover the distance that he can. If Woodley was to get tired or hurt, he can clinch him, and there’s nothing Jake could do. The referee will break it up, but there goes four or five seconds. He’s going to get manhandled in the clinch. I see Woodley.”