On July 30, Tyron Woodley shut the power off on Robbie Lawler to win the UFC welterweight title. Unsurprisingly, this was the biggest moment of the 34-year-old’s career. He’d reached the mountaintop. He’d won his gold.
Yet on the latest episode of his podcast, The Morning Wood Show, Woodley explained that it hasn’t been all glitz and glamor since he won the belt. In fact, he says he’s been on the receiving end of plenty of negativity–and even racism–in his first month as champion.
“I can tell you from experience, as a champion, the last three weeks of my life have been completely the opposite of what you’d think it’d be,” Woodley said on his show. “I’ve had so many people say, ‘you p*ssy, you’re scared of this person,’ and I’m like, I just fought an hour ago. I just got the belt! I’ve had people say ‘you should be stripped of the belt’ and actually it’s a month today that I won the belt.”
According to Woodley, the negativity gets far more severe, too.
“I’ve had people call me n**ger, and monkey, and all this racist stuff, and I delete these people, then they’ll create another page and just go back out. People are willing to take so many hours of their day to be so negative.”
Woodley went on to explain that he understands that this negativity can be partially attributed to the anonymity the internet provides. Yet he also says some fans are completely unabashed in their racism.
“Some people, I look at their page and all they do all day is go against African American athletes and try to racially slur them.”
If not especially surprising, Woodley’s admission that he faces racism online is extremely disheartening. Hopefully this trend does not continue, so that he can properly enjoy his well-earned reign as UFC welterweight king.