The relationship between UFC president, Dana White and former welterweight champion, Tyron ‘The Chosen One’ Woodley has been called into question time and time again over the last couple of years – with the promotional leader today labelling the Missouri veteran, “the hardest kid I’ve (he’s) ever dealt with“”.
Woodley, who has dropped his last three contests on the trot, has been criticised in the past by White, particularly for his lacklustre performance at UFC 214 in July of 2017 where he scored a unanimous decision win over challenger, Demian Maia to retain his welterweight throne – in one of the most forgettable five-round contests in the promotion’s history.
Straying from an approach which seen him clinch the throne from Robbie Lawler in the summer of 2016, and score four successful defences, a massively gunshy Woodley dropped the crown to incumbent best, Kamaru Usman, before defeats to incoming title challenger, Gilbert Burns, and former interim champion, Colby Covington since March of last year.
Questioning what’s left for Woodley in the sport and calling for him to consider hanging up his gloves permanently after his UFC Vegas 11 defeat to Covington, White has today called Woodley the “hardest” talent to work with during his time as promotional president.
“I would say the hardest kid I ever dealt with, and everybody thinks that I don’t like him, it has to be (Tyron) Woodley,” White told Virgin Radio host, Kris Fade. “Woodley’s the hardest kid I’ve ever dealt with. I look at what he could have done and what he should have done. Good looking kid, physique, the whole thing, becomes (sic) a world champion, has that knockout power, has all the tools and everything else, but it’s just always pulling teeth with him and it’s always about something else other than the fight.” (H/T Aaron Bronsteter)
The 38-year-old Roufusport trainee suffered a fifth-round rib injury in his lopsided defeat to Covington in September, as he jumped for a guillotine and adjusted at the fence, but has maintained he won’t change his approach, coaches, or locality – and plans to continue his career in the UFC despite calls for him to contemplate retirement from White.