Jake Paul’s next boxing opponent has been announced, with the YouTuber scheduled to face former UFC champion Tyron Woodley in an eight-round professional bout.
Woodley, who was recently released by the UFC after a streak of poor performances, is a long-time friend and training partner of Paul’s last opponent, Ben Askren, who was knocked out by the YouTuber in just one round.
At the Triller Fight Club event in April, Woodley was present as part of Askren’s coaching team and clashed backstage with members of Paul’s entourage, which included former professional boxers J’Leon Love and BJ Flores.
However, Woodley is no stranger to confrontation and controversy, feuding with a number of other fighters during his time with the UFC including Conor McGregor, Colby Covington and even Dana White.
In 2016, at a UFC 205 press conference, Woodley and McGregor would clash repeatedly both during the event and backstage, after the Irishman expressed his plans to capture Woodley’s welterweight belt and become a three-weight world champion. Woodley responded, telling McGregor “We punch with way different power in this weight division” and that he needed “to focus on his fight [with Eddie Alvarez] first.”
McGregor replied in typical fashion, calling Woodley “a little gossiping b***h” and a “p***y.”
Woodley would continue to mention McGregor in interviews over the next few years. Just weeks after his loss to Kamaru Usman at UFC 235, Woodley told TMZ instead of trying to recapture his UFC title, it was a fight with McGregor that interested him; “Who else does it make sense for me to fight right now? I might as well fight Conor. I’ll fight him in Ireland…Russia. Want to go to the TMZ newsroom? Quit being a b***h. Let’s fight.”
Perhaps Woodley’s most bitter feud during his UFC tenure was with fellow welterweight Colby Covington. Once teammates at American Top Team, Woodley and Covington trained with one another for years before Woodley parted ways with the Florida-based gym.
Since, Covington has been vocal about his hatred of Woodley, revealing to ESPN that “last time I trained with him, he wasn’t even competitive. I’ll break him in half.” Covington also began referring to Woodley as TyQuil Woodley, likening his rival’s fighting style to the American night-time flu medicine.
Woodley would respond a handful of times, telling reporters “I’ve got to whoop Covington’s a*s. He’s doing a lot of barking.”
The two would eventually fight in September of last year, with Covington dominating Woodley on his way to a fifth-round TKO victory via rib injury. It would be Woodley’s penultimate fight in the UFC, and would mark the third five-round fight in a row where the former champion had failed to win a round.
Following the bout, another of Woodley’s long-time critics, Dana White, would urge the Missouri native to retire. White and Woodley have had a strained relationship throughout the latter’s UFC career, largely because of Woodley’s dull fighting style.
At UFC 214, Woodley would defend his welterweight title against Demian Maia with the bout breaking the record for the least number of significant strikes ever thrown. In the post-fight press conference, White told reporters “If you ask fans if they want to see Woodley fight again. I think it would be a flat-out no.”
At a UFC 254 media day, White would again reference his difficult relationship with Woodley, labelling him the hardest fighter he’s evet dealt with.
“Woodley’s the hardest kid I’ve ever dealt with. I look at what he could have done and what he should have done.
“Good-looking kid, physique, the whole thing, becomes a world champion, has that knockout power, has all the tools and everything else, but it’s just always pulling teeth with him and it’s always about something else other than the fight.”
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Woodley was released by the UFC following his first-round defeat to Vicente Luque at UFC 260.
After capturing the welterweight title in 2016 by knocking out the legendary Robbie Lawler and defeating the likes of Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson, Demian Maia and England’s Darren Till, Woodley’s fall from grace has been sad, to say the least.
Tyron Woodley will face Jake Paul on the 28th of August, with a press conference set to take place in Miami on Thursday.
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