Tyron Woodley has no hard feelings about how his UFC run ended.
It’s been a rough stretch for Woodley since his time atop the welterweight division as UFC champion from 2016 to early 2019. “The Chosen One” has lost a combined six straight bouts, starting with his title defeat to Kamaru Usman at UFC 235 and most recently seeing him falter in back-to-back boxing matches against Jake Paul in 2021.
Woodley, 40, currently finds himself as a judge on PFL’s Challenger Series, helping decide which winners get into the regular season. Meanwhile, he continues to explore the numerous options across the combat sports landscape.
“I’m a free agent and I’m enjoying my liberation. I’m enjoying doing what I want to do,” Woodley told BJPenn.com. “Fighting when I want to fight and fighting for the amount of money I want. I’m the only guy in this sport that can do that. I know some guys are just recently free agents but with the magnitude of what I’m doing right now, nobody is doing. To be the trailblazer and the one and only and be the first fighter that can go and box, kickbox, Muay Thai, I can do Bellator, ONE, PFL, or Glory. I can do my own s*** and make top dollar. I’m very thankful, very blessed.”
Working in a capacity with PFL has also led to discussions to fight for the former UFC champ. Woodley noted that he and PFL President Peter Murray would likely look at PPV event possibilities before the Challenger Series run was all wrapped up. The promotion will kick off its new venture into the PPV market with two events in 2023 outside of the traditional season format.
Despite departing the UFC on a four-fight skid and feeling he wasn’t treated fairly as champion, however, Woodley doesn’t think a UFC return is out of the realm of possibility.
“I have no door closed,” Woodley said. “I’m a businessman, I can fight in any business I want to. I can fight in any organization I want to. ONE, Bellator, Glory, PFL, UFC. I don’t get my feelings hurt in business. I don’t have to invite you to my daughter’s birthday as long as the check clears.”
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SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
A mural of Yair Rodriguez went up in Ciudad Juárez pic.twitter.com/e7HJvPCvSM— MMA mania (@mmamania) February 21, 2023
Excited to be a guest Celebrity Judge on the PFL Challenger Series this Friday night at 9pm ET on Fubo Sports Network!— Megan Anderson (@MeganAnderson) February 21, 2023
Tune in and help me decide which Women’s Flyweight will receive the opportunity of a lifetime, a PFL contract. #PFLonFubo pic.twitter.com/EdvK3sYIGY
I gotta watch more Dragon Ball Z— Henry Cejudo (@HenryCejudo) February 22, 2023
But I gotta say, I'm Vegeta and you're Goku if I'm being real @MightyMouse
️: https://t.co/V4Srq8z8m6 pic.twitter.com/IvtahCqj1B
Gregor Gillespie vs Josh Churella in OT for an NCAA title @gregor_the_gift pic.twitter.com/Tdv377BvRK— OLD SCHOOL WRESTLING CLIPS (@Gut_Bench69) February 21, 2023
who is next?— Makhachev Islam (@MAKHACHEVMMA) February 22, 2023
This looks tremendous. pic.twitter.com/lD5D9PXj4H— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) February 21, 2023
Josh Quinlan (6-0) vs. Ange Loosa (9-3); UFC Fight Night, April 29
Charles Oliveira (33-9, 1 NC) vs. Beneil Dariush (22-4-1); UFC 288, May 6
Marina Rodriguez (16-2-2) vs. Virna Jandiroba (18-3); UFC 288, May 6
Mansour Barnaoui (20-4) vs. Brent Primus (11-3); Bellator 296, May 12
Mackenzie Dern (12-3) vs. Angela Hill (15-12); UFC Fight Night, May 13
Karolina Kowalkiewicz (14-7) vs. Vanessa Demopoulos (9-4); UFC Fight Night, May 13
If Woodley keeps fighting, I’m willing to bet it will be something like bare-knuckle. It would be absolutely hilarious though if PFL managed to make him fight Jake Paul in an MMA fight. I think I’d prefer Ben Askren to get his MMA rematch, but I don’t even know. Time will tell.
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