Tyron Woodley claims the UFC has failed to rope in African-American fans in their promotion of him as champion.
The UFC welterweight kingpin recently returned from a 14-month absence to submit Darren Till at UFC 228. The win made him the UFC’s longest-reigning current champion.
But he certainly isn’t drawing like it.
With the bruising slugger back in the forefront of headlines, the UFC’s promotion of Woodley – or lack thereof – has once again become a hot topic. Woodley recently spoke up on the topic with Sway’s Universe (via MMA Mania). He went back to the focus on his view that the UFC has failed to secure the potentially lucrative African-American market:
“This sport is trying to be parallel with NFL, MLB, and all these other sports, you wanna be taken seriously,” Woodley said. “You got people who wanna fuck with the sport, but they think MMA is a whole bunch of crazy white people beating each other’s ass with a sprinkle of a few brothers. But it’s my job to get the people from the barbershop, to bring over the Mayweather fans, and I think as an organization we failed to get me to grab that market.”
Woodley has often cited racism as the reason that the Endeavor -owned promotion has not promoted him effectively. He’s not necessarily doing that here, but he is deflecting the blame.
His dominant second-round submission of Till was an exciting fight no doubt. His previous two title defenses against Stephen Thompson and Demian Maia were two of the worst welterweight title fights in UFC history.
There’s also no guarantee Woodley’s idea of securing black Floyd Mayweather fans would translate to success. It could, or it could not. Right or wrong, many feel the reason Woodley isn’t well-liked is that he blames everyone else but himself. Is it on him to promote his fights?
Or does he have a point that the UFC could do more to help him? Either way, it seems like the discussion is tipping towards its boiling point.