Tyron Woodley believes the UFC pushes fighters too quickly and Sage Northcutt and Paige VanZant are the perfect examples.
The UFC often signs young, up-and-coming prospects but the problem with them fighting in the UFC so young is the fact they are fighting the best in the world, which is a problem according to Woodley. Along with that, the promotion has to carefully matchmake them which they didn’t do to both Northcutt and VanZant as both struggled and ultimately left the UFC.
“They (UFC) force feed. What happened when you forced Sage Northcutt on us? … No shade, that’s my homie, but they pressed him too quick. He wasn’t ready. I was his training,” Woodley said on The Residency Podcast (via MMANews). “He would’ve been great, he could’ve been a champion. He gave me many, many ass-whoopings in the gym. But then he couldn’t take when somebody went to submit him. He couldn’t take pressure. If he couldn’t get right up, it would frustrate him. That was the thing that me and my coach wanted to work with him on. Because he was so young.
“So, Sage, Paige VanZant, all these people they wanted us to be like, ‘This is the person,’ but they gotta still win,” Woodley added. “What happens when you f**k around and you blow somebody up to ‘this is the person’ and they lose, to Charlie Oliveira. You may want Gaethje there because he doesn’t give a f**k and just says crazy shit, but he may not be able to f**k with Charlie Oliveira. The sport is the sport.”
Tyron Woodley certainly has a point that the UFC likes to rush young stars as quickly as possible and hopefully build on their hype. We have seen that happen with Khamzat Chimaev as he’s likely one win away from a title shot despite signing with the UFC in 2020.
As for VanZant and Northcutt, ‘PVZ’ has signed with BKFC and AEW wrestling while Northcutt is competing in ONE Championship.
Do you agree with Tyron Woodley?