At UFC 228, which goes down on September 8 in Dallas, Texas, UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley will attempt to defend his title against undefeated British contender Darren Till.
Heading into this fight, the 25-year-old Darren Till has quite a bit of hype behind him. Tyron Woodley, however, isn’t worried.
“Who’s the fastest welterweight in the division? Who’s the most powerful welterweight in the division? Who’s the most experienced welterweight in the division?” Woodley said at a media scrum this week (transcript via MMAjunkie). “So what advantages do you have, because you’re 24 years old, that I don’t have?”
“I feel like I’ve got to make my game plan of what I’m doing based upon an intelligent fighter breaking me down and seeing his weaknesses and seeing what he can exploit on me,” Woodley added. “The only difference is you’ve seen me wrestle in matches, you’ve seen me strike in matches, you’ve seen me grapple in matches, you’ve seen me brawl in matches, you’ve seen me have to put on the thinking cap and have a chess match. He has one style of fighting. He has one way to win this fight. And if you add in his youth and his hunger and his confidence, he’s a very difficult matchup. But I think I have so many different ways to win this fight.
“Confidence ain’t enough. Being tough ain’t enough. I want it just as much as he wants it. I don’t want to be a challenger again. You know, life as a champion and life as a challenger are two separate things. I want to continue to have a platform to use to inspire and motivate to do positive things with. I want to consistently be able to provide a lifestyle for my family, so they have opportunities that I didn’t have as a kid. And he wants to take that away from me. So now it’s on.”
Tyron Woodley also reminds that this isn’t the first time he’s taken on a hungry, young, undefeated contender.
“It’s not the first young, undefeated fighter that I’ve fought. Kelvin Gastelum was that guy, too, right?” Woodley said. “He had what it took: ‘Oh, he’s young, he can wrestle, blah blah blah.’ So I’m right back in the same position. It’s so funny that I consistently end up in this same position, that the people that I’m facing are the ones that they’re looking so far ahead.
“So, once again, I’ll be the spoiler. I’ll mess up the plans, and I’ll continue to be the world champion.”
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/2/2018.