Former UFC welterweight champion, Tyron Woodley, is set to embark on his first professional boxing contest later this month against YouTube star Jake Paul. Woodley, now 39, has struggled in the Octagon over the last couple of years. He’s been beaten in his previous four fights, which isn’t promising, however, it wasn’t that long ago that the man from Ferguson, Missouri, was at the top of his game in the UFC. After all, he won the welterweight belt when he defeated Robbie Lawler just five years ago in 2016. Three successful defenses of his crown followed before he eventually went on to lose to Kamaru Usman.
Interestingly, Woodley may not be the last UFC star to make the switch to boxing this year. He’s actually the second MMA fighter to face the internet-personality-turned-boxer as Ben Askren had a bout with Paul back in April, though he was beaten in the first round.
Woodley’s First Boxing Bout
As it stands, the former UFC man is currently the +120 underdog in the Jake Paul vs Tyron Woodley betting odds, with his opponent the favorite to keep up his unbeaten record inside the boxing ring. The pair have already exchanged their fair share of online blows in the lead-up to the fight, which is considered by fans to be another easy win in the bag for Paul. Yet Woodley is hopeful that this wild attempt in the realm of another combat sport, and against the likes of one of the most relevant and controversial fighters around, will be a worthy accomplishment in the timeline of his turbulent career.
Paul and McGregor Exchange Insults on Social Media
Next on the to-do list is Conor McGregor, as Paul has made no secret of the fact he wants to face the Irishman one day. McGregor is one of the biggest names in the fighting world, so a fight between the two would generate a huge amount of interest and inevitably a huge payout, too.
McGregor has already featured in the boxing ring against the legendary Floyd Mayweather in 2017 in what was known as the “money fight”. The Notorious has lost three of his last four UFC fights, including his previous two appearances in the Octagon against Dustin Poirier.
Paul, whose boxing stats read at 3-0 heading into his fight with Woodley, has already gotten tongues wagging by trading insults with McGregor on social media. It likely won’t be long till there’s something official in the pipeline: this fight would be a surefire option for the former UFC champion as he appears to be looking for another chance to prove his boxing skills.
Diaz Rivalry Goes Strong
The YouTube star hasn’t been afraid to call out the biggest names in UFC. Former champion Nate Diaz is yet another example of a professional from this industry that he’s upset with his incessant goading. Although a fight between the two men is unlikely to take place soon, with Diaz committed to the UFC for now, the Californian has not ruled it out in the future.
Diaz has only won once in the UFC in the last five years. He lost his second fight with McGregor and a trilogy may be completed before the end of 2021. With Paul following his every move, this rivalry is inevitably going to continue.
Usman’s at the top of his game at the moment and has also been linked with Paul. The UFC welterweight champion is 19-1 in the UFC. The Nigerian nightmare did not take too kindly to a social media post made by Paul about him. Although he has yet to commit to a fight, if the insults continue to come his way, it’s very likely that Paul will get his way and the duo will settle their bitter rivalry in the boxing ring.
As determined by his bold bravado and performances in the boxing ring so far, Paul is certainly not afraid to upset the biggest names in the UFC. With his eyes on the prize and a fierce stubbornness that won’t let up, it’s likely that Paul’s antics could lead to even more colossal fight events over the next couple of years.
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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