When ex-UFC welterweight champ Tyron Woodley got the call to face Jake Paul in a rematch of their boxing spectacle from earlier this year, “it probably took me all of 20 seconds to say yes,” he revealed recently.
“I was training at the time, I had already put it in my mind and put it on the schedule to fight four times next year, in four different forms of combat, and just really be extremely active,” said Woodley, who was actually working on a movie set when the offer came. “So I was already training, already kind of getting battle-ready to take a fight in January.”
If there’s a theme to this second fight — outside of money, at least — for Woodley, it’s redemption. The chance to go back and right a wrong, a rare occurrence in combat sports.
“You know, very few times do you get a chance to go back and redo something,” the former UFC champ admitted in a virtual press call last week. “Sometimes you sit there and you live and regret, like ‘dang man, I felt like I won the fight, maybe I could have done this a little bit different, maybe if I had only thew a few more punches here.’ Now I get an opportunity to go back and undo what was already done.”
That, said Woodley, is “something that drives me without any additional money, any additional sold out crowd. The fact that Jake Paul can walk around and say that he beat me just broils my skin and blood and everything inside my body. I’m just trying to go out there and just make it clear that I’m the better fighter, I’m the hard puncher, and I’m the professional.”
With open workouts for Paul vs. Woodley 2 arriving Wednesday, “T-Wood” turned his attention to silencing Paul, in a fight he believes should have been made all along. Originally, Paul was supposed to face boxer Tommy Fury this weekend. The younger brother of heavyweight champ Tyson, Fury was forced out of the event due to injury.
“I think I surprised him in the first fight,” Woodley suggested Wednesday. “They told him that I was going to gas out but I was the one who controlled the second half of the fight. They all lied to him about what I can still do.”
“When I knock him out and beat him again, they’re going to forget about him,” Woodley later added. “He gives people something to talk about and he’s doing it on purpose.”
Tyron Woodley faces Jake Paul for the second time this Saturday, December 18, 2021 live at the AMALIE Arena in Tampa, Florida. The event will be broadcast on SHOWTIME PPV.