Former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley lost his belt to Kamaru Usman at UFC 235 just over a year ago, after holding it for almost three years. ‘The Chosen One’ is now scheduled to fight the number six ranked Gilbert Burns this weekend, at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas.
Speaking on his Hollywood Beatdown show on TMZ Sports (transcript by MMA Fighting), Woodley explained how a five-round fight favours him over Burns.
“What I like about this matchup for me is that it’s a five-round fight. I don’t know if he’s ever fought a five-round fight, but it’s different,” he said. “It’s different than trying to come out and explode. He goes out there and he either explodes in the first two rounds and then starts to fade in the third or he explodes in first round, the second round is kinda crazy, and then he just lets it all hang out in the third round.
“When you’re down 3-0 and I’m up three rounds and then you come out and get picked apart in the fourth, then you’re left to desperation. You’re left to swing big and kick big and go for takedowns and I think if anybody in the UFC is gonna have an eyeball to see that s*** from a mile away, get out the way, and sting you with some shots, it’s me.”
Woodley feels that he needs to remind everybody who he is inside the Octagon, after the bad night he had against Usman.
“It’s always short-term memory. People only remember you for your last outing and it’s been so long ago, it’s time to remind them. . . I’m in a violent headspace,” he said. “I don’t know another way to put it. I’m willing to do some very s***ty stuff to people, put them in compromising positions, hurt them. Literally, hurt them, not just go out there and try to get the win.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever been this focused during my stint in the UFC. I don’t know if I’ve been this ornery. Today I was yelling and cursing at my sparring partners. That’s how I know I’m peaking at the right time. That’s how I know I’m ready to go.”
Since Leon Edwards pulled out of the fight against Woodley at UFC London last March due to the coronavirus, Burns has been vocal about stepping in and facing Tyron. Since then, he has regularly taken to social media to call out the former champion. Now that the two are finally scheduled to fight each other, ‘The Chosen One’ believes that the Brazilian is not aware that he is in over his head.
“You can’t miss this,” Woodley said. “This is going to be a clear case of someone asking for something they didn’t really know what they were asking for. I’m gonna let the person talk but when we get in there in the octagon, the performance I put on is going to be crazy.
“I’m gonna be talking s*** to him, I’m gonna be pushing him in the face, I’m gonna be punching him, I’m going to deny every takedown, every scramble, and I’m gonna leave him out there and it’s gonna be like, ‘F***, why did the UFC match him up with this dude? That’s a mismatch. That ain’t even fair.’ People are gonna feel bad for him.”
Who do you have winning the fight next weekend, Tyron Woodley or Gilbert Burns?