Tyron Woodley Seeks Redemption Against 2021 Game Changer Jake Paul

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Jake Paul and Tyron Woodley
Jake Paul and Tyron Woodley face off at the press conference ahead of their rematch. Photo: Amanda Westcott/Showtime

Tyron Woodley has found a chance to redeem himself, but he will need a new approach if he is to best 2021’s breakout star Jake Paul in their rematch.

Few could have predicted such a turn of events two years ago.  Logan Paul was the one who filled the Staples Center for his bout with fellow YouTuber KSI.  A month later, his little brother Jake Paul headlined an unheralded event against the far lesser known social media influencer AnEnson Gib.  Fast forward to the present day, and it is Jake Paul who has been the catalyst for a new niche in combat sports that has seen public figures and past their prime fighters headline high profile events.

Not even 25 years old, Paul entered the fight game with more millions than most fighters ever earn in their entire careers.  Over the past twelve months, he’s crafted the perfect script: Out-boxing undersized former mixed martial arts champions while galvanizing the entire MMA fan base to tune in to watch his demise.  Along the way, former champions from far-and-wide have joined in the festivities in headlining the large-scale production events that have pocketed them hefty paydays.  In what is essentially the final major event of 2021, Paul will now look to close out his campaign with a repeat of his most impressive performance.

Though he publicly states that the thought comes nowhere near his mind, Tyron Woodley knows what’s at stake for his reputation should he come up short on Saturday.  His time as a champion is something none can take away.  But to lose twice against the far lesser experienced and far more boisterous Paul would make it difficult to sell any narrative other than that his best days are behind him.  That said, he appears to be taking the rematch in stride after his social media campaign to secure the bout.

Of both fighters, the only one who carries mystery at this stage is Woodley.  Paul has already proven his skill level and the fact that it will be difficult for smaller foes to defeat him.  Woodley is the one who must enter the fight with the sense of urgency that cost him crucial rounds in the first bout.  Of course, the storyline no one is bringing up is that the combat sports world is asking a monumental task of “The Chosen One.”  Woodley is being asked to take risks in a combat sport against a much larger opponent, and this time he’s being asked to do it on short notice after not even having secured the bout until roughly two weeks prior.

For Paul, perhaps the greatest success is that the entire combat sports business has now gotten in on the “exhibition” game largely in part from seeing his lucrative example in the past year.  If there are more fights in 2022 for him, then it is easy to imagine a bout with Tommy Fury being rebooked before turning his focus on the more relevant stars of today to generate more money.  For Woodley, a victory would raise his drawing power.  A rematch with Paul is not out of the question, but lucrative fights with the likes of Dan Hardy and opportunities in both boxing and MMA are all expected to be on the table.

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