Tyron Woodley blames the UFC Apex environment for late MMA career struggles

By Curtis Calhoun - May 20, 2024

Former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley feels fighting in the UFC Apex towards the end of his promotional career impacted his in-cage performances.

Tyron Woodley, UFC Apex

Woodley is targeting a return to combat sports later in 2024 after a long hiatus from competition. He hasn’t fought in any capacity since a knockout loss to Jake Paul in their boxing rematch in 2021.

Woodley, once considered one of the top UFC pound-for-pound fighters, lost four straight fights before parting ways with the promotion. He lost the welterweight title to Kamaru Usman at  UFC 235 before losses in the UFC Apex to Gilbert Burns, Colby Covington, and Vicente Luque.

The UFC began hosting events in their Apex facility during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Woodley and other UFC fighters were forced to fight in front of an empty audience instead of a jam-packed arena.

Woodley feels the eerie scene of fighting in the Apex attributed to a lot of his late UFC career setbacks.

Tyron Woodley reflects on late UFC career slide

During a recent interview with TitleSportsNetwork, Woodley admitted that fighting in the Apex dismantled his fighting motivation.

“I plan on doing MMA, a lot of fans want to watch me fight MMA again. And to be honest, when I was fighting my last couple MMA fights, it was kind of like a simulation. The whole Apex arena deal is kinda wack, it’s a lot like a sparring session,” Woodley said. “I don’t let people come watch me spar, I don’t like it, being in there and the cage is super small. I just really wasn’t motivated to be in the fights, basically, at that time…

“Those fights to me are like exhibition fights. I do think the fans deserve me to see me go out there, see me run through somebody, see the Tyron Woodley that they know I’m capable of being. And put a proper close to this MMA career.”

Woodley has been called out by the likes of Mike Perry, KSI, and others since his combat sports absence. In the interview referenced above, he revealed that recent MMA fight offers were made to Nick Diaz and Georges St-Pierre.

Woodley wishes his UFC career ended differently, and regrets fighting in the UFC Apex. As he prepares for his fighting return, he’s looking forward to competing in a normalized environment as opposed to a virtually empty facility.

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


Tyron Woodley UFC