Tyron Woodley suffered a devastating loss to Gilbert Burns in the UFC Vegas main event. His opponent gained an early advantage in round one, when he opened up a huge cut above his left eye. The fight then went from bad to worse as Burns completely shutdown the former champion’s attack. With nothing left to fear, ‘Durinho’ began to dominate every aspect of the fight and officially racked up 83 significant strikes before the final horn sounded.
Following some much needed medical attention, Woodley took to Instagram to update his fans on the situation.
“What’s up people. Like I said, you just can’t get on the camera when you win, you have to get on the camera when you lose too and I felt good. I don’t have no excuses. I felt good and I trained hard. I was in great shape. I felt like I did everything right. Everything felt good from the walkout to the stretch and every single thing about the fight.
“I looked [Burns] in the eyes yesterday and I knew he was going to be ready to fight. I thought that was good. He did a good job of you know keeping the distance and not coming into shots. And I just felt like I was reaching so I don’t have any excuses. I will hold my head high. A lot of mother f***ers would have let somebody finish them off in that moment but I didn’t give up. I was just thinking about everything going on right now and all those people protesting and fighting for something good. So I was like ‘I just can’t give up in here’ and I never really gave up.”
Despite visibly struggling with timing, range and early damage, Woodley still had hopes of turning the fight around.
“I hoped I was going to win the fight to be honest. I know the first round started off rough. I don’t know how that mother f***er elbowed me. I know he kicked me in my damn leg and that thing hasn’t been right since. I don’t know what he hit me with on the feet, if it was an elbow or what. You mother f***ers saw it but whatever. He kicked me in my damn leg and then ever since then that thing was just not right.
“I could not get a rhythm going. So injury wise I think I am fine. I’ve got a nice little cut that you can’t see because I’ve got the best plastic surgeon dude on earth Dr. Greg, who hooked me up with some stitches. So I got like 3,000 stitches in my eye. Because that thing was split wide open. But yea my leg, that mother f***er look like I got a watermelon inside my skin. So I just wanted to come and face you guys. I don’t understand all of this, but I just know that I have to trust god.”
When Dana White was asked about Woodley’s fighting future, the UFC president said that he would leave that in the hands of the former champion.
“He’ll determine that. I think he worked hard and got into great shape for this fight and took it very seriously. You know, he got dominated tonight. He will drop in the rankings and we’ll see what’s next. He’s 38 and has huge gaps in his fight time.”
Woodley is now 38 years old and has just returned from a 15 month lay-off. ‘The Chosen One’ was the top contender in the welterweight division prior to UFC Vegas but it is predicted that his position will drop dramatically as a result of Saturday’s loss.
Leon Edwards, Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington are all legitimate contenders and they will now be joined by Gilbert Burns in their scramble for the 170lb title. With this amount of talent in one division, the future looks uncertain for Woodley.
If he does choose to continue then a sensible opponent may be Michael Chiesa. The number eight ranked fighter has refused to compete during the worst phase of the coronavirus pandemic. However, with things appearing to settle down, a fight with the former champion may be the stepping stone that Chiesa needs on his rise to the top.
Despite entering the Octagon in phenomenal shape, it might be time for Woodley to make way for the next batch of contenders. He has achieved greatness in the sport and has moved on to become a fantastic analyst within the ESPN UFC team.
What do you think is next for Tyron Woodley?