Kamaru Usman feels that Tyron Woodley is “holding himself back” by being overly choosey in terms of the opponent for his next fight.
Woodley has not fought since he surrendered the UFC welterweight title to Usman early last year. He was expected to return to the cage against Leon Edwards in London on March 21, but the event ultimately fell through due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Since then, Edwards has campaigned for the fight with Woodley to be rebooked, but Woodley has seemed reluctant, instead calling for fights with stars like Usman and Colby Covington.
Usman, who still holds the welterweight belt, feels Woodley isn’t doing himself any favors by being picky at this juncture of his career.
“This whole situation has kind of thrown a damper on things, but I feel like Tyron is holding himself back for god knows what,” Usman told MMA Fighting. “Cause you’re not getting any younger. You’re a talented guy. You’ve got a lot of skills. The only way for you to get back to the title is just to fight.
“Fight, guys,” Usman added, encouraging Woodley to be less selective. “It doesn’t matter who you fight. Say yes to everybody. Go out there and fight, and I know he’s not saying yes to everybody.
“But say yes to anyone that they throw in front of you, and you go out there and knock out enough guys, guess what? They have no choice but to give you a title shot. This whole pick and choose who you want, this and that, that’s not working for you. Because the only thing you’re wasting is time.”
What do you think of the advice Kamaru Usman has shared with Tyron Woodley? Do you think the former champ will heed it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 4/27/2020.