Tyron Woodley – What Next For The Former Champion?
By Dan McConnell
At UFC 235 in Las Vegas, UFC welterweight champion Tyron ‘The Chosen One’ Woodley (19-4-1) was dethroned of his crown and handed his first loss since current Bellator welterweight champion Rory MacDonald defeated him back in 2014.
Woodley was absolutely dominated by top contender Kamaru Usman and didn’t win a single round, which isn’t something we’re used too with the ever-competitive fighter.
Many seen the Milwaukee native as in the discussion for the greatest ever welterweight in the history of the UFC. We must not forget, despite Woodley not having a crowd-pleasing style he has shown that he has a champions level IQ in order to defeat opponents and quickly de-rail the course of top contenders.
Lets not forget T-Wood has defeated high level opponents throughout his title run, racking up names like Ruthless Robbie Lawler, the unorthodox Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson twice, grappling wizard black-belt Demian Maia and most recently Liverpool’s Darren Till who had a lot of hype behind him.
Until a champion falls, the fickle fans will only start to appreciate what they have done for the sport. The former Strikeforce and current UFC veteran has been fighting from 2009 and with the UFC from the merger of the two companies in 2013. At the age of 36, where does Woodley go from here?
In all honesty it wouldn’t surprise me if we see Woodley inside the UFC’s Octagon against someone like Colby Covington, as both men have history, another defeat could mean the end whoever he fights next.
Why and how I heard you ask? You think of destructive and dominant champions over the years and what has been their downfall. In the examples of Ronda Rousey and Mighty Mouse, it’s when their attention turns to more than just fighting.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with Woodley featuring in movies, creating his own music single and getting his brand out there while he is still hot. But this shows that the fighter is possibly already thinking about taking one step out the door.
At the age of 36, Woodley has fought the top ranked fighters that have been placed in-front of him. Will there really be anyone apart from Colby that will interest him? A possible matchup with middleweight champion Robert Whittaker could be an option, and maybe this is the pay-day Woodley deserves before he calls it quits.
I can’t see the former champion climbing the ranks again for another chance to lift the 170-pound strap but never say never. Tyrone Woodley has certainly earned my respect and cemented his place in the UFC’s Hall of Fame. The next few weeks and months will be interesting to see what his plans are.