Former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley feels more focused than ever ahead of his fight with Gilbert Burns, which headlines the UFC’s May 30 event in Las Vegas.
Speaking on his Hollywood Beatdown show, Woodley, who has not fought since he surrendered the title in Kamaru Usman in early 2019, weighed in on his current head-space.
“It’s always short-term memory,” Woodley said (transcript via MMA Fighting). “People only remember you for your last outing and it’s been so long ago, it’s time to remind them. . . I’m in a violent headspace. I don’t know another way to put it. I’m willing to do some very sh*tty stuff to people, put them in compromising positions, hurt them. Literally, hurt them, not just go out there and try to get the win. I don’t know if I’ve ever been this focused during my stint in the UFC. I don’t know if I’ve been this ornery. Today I was yelling and cursing at my sparring partners. That’s how I know I’m peaking at the right time. That’s how I know I’m ready to go.”
Woodley also weighed in on Burns’ skillset. He believes this fight being five rounds could play a huge factor in the way things unfold.
“What I like about this matchup for me is that it’s a five-round fight,” Woodley said. “I don’t know if he’s ever fought a five-round fight, but it’s different. It’s different than trying to come out and explode. He goes out there and he either explodes in the first two rounds and then starts to fade in the third or he explodes in first round, the second round is kinda crazy, and then he just lets it all hang out in the third round. When you’re down 3-0 and I’m up three rounds and then you come out and get picked apart in the fourth, then you’re left to desperation. You’re left to swing big and kick big and go for takedowns and I think if anybody in the UFC is gonna have an eyeball to see that sh*t from a mile away, get out the way, and sting you with some shots, it’s me.
“You can’t miss this. This is going to be a clear case of someone asking for something they didn’t really know what they were asking for,” Woodley added. “I’m gonna let the person talk but when we get in there in the octagon, the performance I put on is going to be crazy. I’m gonna be talking sh*t to him, I’m gonna be pushing him in the face, I’m gonna be punching him, I’m going to deny every takedown, every scramble, and I’m gonna leave him out there and it’s gonna be like, ‘F*ck, why did the UFC match him up with this dude? That’s a mismatch. That ain’t even fair.’ People are gonna feel bad for him.”
How do you think Tyron Woodley will perform in his long-awaited return to the Octagon?