Morning Report: Tyron Woodley says ‘I’m the one that gave Jake Paul credibility,’ details boxing negotiations
Tyron Woodley is “The Chosen One” for a reason.
When it was announced that the former UFC welterweight champion was set to box Jake Paul in August 2021, it was a pretty decent surprise for the combat sports world. Paul was heading into his fourth pro match after knocking out Woodley’s fellow former MMA welterweight champion Ben Askren. Meanwhile, Woodley had recently left the UFC after a four-fight losing streak.
In the end, Paul defeated Woodley twice consecutively, first by split decision before a devastating sixth-round knockout at the end of that year. Paul, 27, has fought four times since then and won thrice, but Woodley ultimately believes without his role in “The Problem Child’s” career, there’d still be doubters aplenty.
“Jake respected me and was kind of a fan of me in MMA, right?” Woodley told Demetrious Johnson. “He understood that I’m the one that gave Jake Paul credibility. Don’t get it f***** up. Not Nate Robinson, not Anderson [Silva], not Nate [Diaz], not Tommy Fury. None of those guys did. Because I called him out culture to culture. I’m the one that had the big press conference with him. I did the most numbers with him, and when you look at the fight, I’m the one that really had the ability to hurt him. I’m the only one that really hurt him in the fights, right?
“By him beating me and coming back and knocking me out after we had a close fight, which most people thought I won, that gave him the credibility. ‘Okay, I guess he a real fighter now.’”
The Paul vs. Woodley rematch was never initially in the cards after the original encounter. Instead, it was to be the eventual Fury match, which resulted in Paul’s lone career loss via split decision last February. Unfortunately for Fury, medical reasons forced him to withdraw from that first planned December 2021 date which led to Woodley stepping in on relatively short notice.
From a financial standpoint, Woodley revealed that the first Paul match outcome had a greater effect than just another loss on his record.
“I was mad too, s***, I wasn’t happy,” Woodley said of the first loss. “In the negotiation, because [MVP Promoter] Nakisa Bidarian worked for the UFC, he said some things private to me that, as a man, I don’t speak about business outside of there, but he said reasons why he didn’t want to negotiate with me to try and take me down on numbers. So, really what I asked for is what I got. I set the bar because everybody else got the same person I got, or they got higher when it was in Saudi [Arabia]. Saudi amplified that. You can add another five million on there when you go to Saudi, right? It’s crazy.
“On the second time around, my fight purse was dumb on the rematch clause. That’s why I was so mad. I thought I won the first fight so I should have been fighting again on the rematch clause. When I fought him again, it wasn’t on the rematch clause, because I didn’t win, according to the judges. I would have made over double the amount of money I made the first time. I got paid nice the first time, then we both would have been the A-side.”
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Here we go again.
Media complaining a lot about what their job is. You know what the medias job is… to ask questions about the fight, fighter, fight camp, corners, nutrition, injuries, weight cut, contract, potential opponents… anything to do with the sport and fight. Especially on fight week
— Josh Thomson (@THEREALPUNK) January 30, 2024
Man. It feels somewhat hard to say who gave Jake the most credibility. Honestly, I don’t really care because none of them say all too much. I guess the answer is probably Anderson purely from an overall — or specifically — striking perspective.
Thanks for reading!
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