If you’re on Twitter enough, you’ll start thinking a lot of tweets are about you. Some may be straight up intended to insult you, other “sub-tweets” could be directed at your character without outright saying your name. Now, imagine instead of Joe Schmoe, you’re a high-profile UFC fighter. The amount of tweets a day alone – positive or negative – have to be just overwhelming. Yesterday as Tyron Woodley scrolled through his feed, he saw a curious tweet from ex-UFC fighter Dan Hardy, then a big debate unfolded in public.
It is not befitting of a world champion to whine so much. A champion is someone that represents courage and strength. An ability to endure difficult circumstances and push on. How is it not obvious that this characteristic negatively affects marketability?
— Dan Hardy (@danhardymma) February 13, 2018
Tyron Woodley: “I pray this comment isn’t for me. Because it’s so bizarre when non-champions say what a champion should represent. Especially with little to zero knowledge of circumstance. But I know it’s not about me, being the respect we have for one another.”
Dan Hardy: “Go back and read some of the comments from your own fans, replying to your tweet. I respect you as an athlete and a champion, but many UFC fans aren’t Woodley fans, and as a champion it’s worth listening to them and figuring out why.
Tyron Woodley: “Go back and check my resume and what I’ve done in a short period of time. See how I captured this title. I respect you, and as a fan it’s worth going back and reading.”
Dan Hardy: “Yes, it’s very impressive, and you are absolutely deserving of that belt. The issue now is that you don’t feel like you are being promoted properly, but if people don’t want to watch you fight, why would they spend the money to promote you?”
All of this is fresh off the heels of another airing of grievances from UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley after Dana White buried him in the media and called him a liar. We think anyone would be angry if their boss did that. Fellow analyst and fighter Rashad Evans even advised Woodley to stop speaking out about it to help his relationship with the UFC. However, Woodley isn’t afraid to stand up for what he believes is right. Whether you side with him or not, how can you not respect his decision?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/14/2018.