UFC president Dana White revealed which fighter he has the most issues dealing with and that is former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley. “The Chosen One” held the belt from July 30, 2016, to March 2, 2019, defending it three times and retaining it once.
Woodley lost the UFC welterweight strap to Kamaru Usman and is currently on a three-fight losing streak with his most recent coming via the hands of Colby Covington in September.
Speaking with Kris Fade, White said it is “like pulling teeth” to work with the former champion. He said via TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter, “I would say the hardest kid that I ever dealt with, and everybody thinks that I don’t like him, it has to be Woodley. 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.”
An example of White and Woodley’s rocky relationship is when The Chosen One defended his title against Demian Maia at UFC 214 in 2017. The fight lacked much action and after the fight, White said via Bleacher Report, “They broke the record for the least punches thrown in a title fight. There’s not much to be pleased with or talk about. What really is there to talk about in that fight?”
After hearing the criticism, The Chosen One demanded an apology from the UFC president or, via TMZ, Woodley would “start leaking some s*** that people don’t want to be out in the wind.” Ultimately, White and Woodley cleared the air.
Recently, after losing to Covington, White suggested that he retire from the sport.
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Woodley Earned a Title Fight in the UFC After Going 5-2
Woodley is one of the most successful welterweight fighters in UFC history. He made his promotional debut in 2013 after the UFC absorbed Strikeforce, defeating Jay Hieron by first-round KO and improving his professional MMA record to 11-1.
He went on to lose his next fight to Jake Shields by split decision. However, The Chosen One bounced back, defeating two massive names in the promotion, Josh Koscheck by first-round KO and Carlos Condit by second-round TKO.
Woodley dropped his next fight. He took on Rory MacDonald and lost via unanimous decision. The loss, however, would mark Woodley’s last defeat until losing his title to Usman.
After the MacDonald loss, The Chosen One defeated Dong Hyun Kim by first-round TKO and Kelvin Gastelum by split decision.
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Woodley Won the Belt in Dominant Fashion, Defended it Multiple Times
In his next bout, Woodley found himself standing across the Octagon from then-welterweight champ Robbie Lawler. The Chosen One wasted no time earning the belt, knocking out Lawler in the first round. In his first title defense, he fought Stephen Thompson to a draw, retaining the belt.
Woodley won the rematch with Thompson in his next bout by majority decision. He then defended the belt two more times, defeating Demian Maia by unanimous decision and Darren Till by second-round submission.
After the Till bout, Woodley lost his title to Kamaru Usman by unanimous decision and has subsequently lost to Gilbert Burns via unanimous decision and Colby Covington via fifth-round TKO.
Woodley, 38, has a professional MMA record of 19-6-1 with seven wins coming via KO or TKO.