At 40 years old, former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley isn’t ruling out a UFC return.
The 170-pound great, who parted ways with the promotion in 2021, told BJPenn.com that he’s still a free agent and open to fielding offers from organizations from different combat sports disciplines, including MMA, boxing and Muay Thai.
“I’m a free agent and I’m enjoying my liberation. I’m enjoying doing what I want to do. Fighting when I want to fight and fighting for the amount of money I want. I’m the only guy in this sport that can do that,” Woodley said. “I know some guys are just recently free agents but with the magnitude of what I’m doing right now, nobody is doing. To be the trailblazer and the one and only and be the first fighter that can go and box, kickbox, Muay Thai, I can do Bellator, ONE, PFL, or Glory. I can do my own s*** and make top dollar. I’m very thankful, very blessed.”
Woodley has competed twice since leaving the UFC: two boxing matches with Jake Paul. “The Problem Child” defeated Woodley on both occasions in 2021, first via split decision and then by knockout.
“The Chosen” reiterated that as long as he’s paid his worth, he’s open to all offers, including from the UFC.
“I have no door closed. I’m a businessman, I can fight in any business I want to. I can fight in any organization I want to,” Woodley said. “ONE, Bellator, Glory, PFL, UFC. I don’t get my feelings hurt in business. I don’t have to invite you to my daughter’s birthday as long as the check clears.”
All in all, Woodley is 0-6 in his last six combat sports bouts. The slump started when he was the reigning UFC 170-pound king. Kamaru Usman took his belt in 2019 via unanimous decision, and then Gilbert Burns bested him by unanimous decision around a year later. He met his bitter rival, Colby Covington, in a 2020 clash and “Chaos” came out on top via fifth-round TKO.
In his final fight inside the Octagon, Woodley was forced to submit to a first-round Brabo choke courtesy of Vicente Luque. The Chosen One has an overall professional mixed martial arts record of 19-7-1.
Woodley Called His Win Over Darren Till a ‘Perfect Fight’
Woodley appeared on MMA Fighting’s “The MMA Hour” this week and he told Ariel Helwani that he believes his final title defense over Darren Till was his “perfect fight.”
“I feel like I asked God, I said, ‘Show me this perfect fight.’ And he showed me this perfect fight and me walking away from the sport, and he showed me walking away on top, he show me walking away literally a bulletproof, perfect, no-mistake performance — and that’s the way I envisioned it,” Woodley said about fighting Paul for the second time. “So no matter how many lessons I took along the road, or how many bumps, I know I didn’t feel that fight, so therefore I know it’s not time for me to hang it up, right?
“Then I was talking to my kids last week, and then something just came over me and it was like — you know when you’ve just got something that you feel, like was whispering to you? That fight was Darren Till. I had that fight. It was a perfect fight. The kid that was more motivated than me, he was stronger than me, he was bigger than me. He sold out the O2 Arena. Conor McGregor, he was going to be the successor of him. All the [conversation] that I was thinking too much about entertainment, I was too Hollywood, I was stretched too thin. And I had three weeks to get ready to take on this kid.”