The MMA world was shocked at how easy Kamaru Usman dominated now-former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley in the co-main event of last weekend’s (Sat., March 2, 2019) UFC 235 from Las Vegas.
It wasn’t the most exciting fight ever, but Usman was able to push ‘The Chosen One’ up against the fence and batter him some big elbows before taking him down. Woodley said he just had a bad day. He asked for an immediate rematch, but the fight isn’t going to happen right now.
After some time has passed to dissect the loss, Woodley spoke up on TMZ’s “Hollywood Beatdown” (via Bloody Elbow) to discuss just what went wrong. He began by stating he wasn’t exactly sure what happened. But he believes he can get the title back:
“I haven’t really been able to pinpoint what happened. The good thing about our sport is you get other opportunities to go back out there and get it back. I feel like after the resumé that I’ve had, the run that I’ve had, I had the longest streak, all these stats that were out.”
He claimed he felt just fine in the lead-up to the fight. But what took him over was something so strong it was like an out-of-body experience. While Woodley wanted to punch Usman, he just could not:
“So when I fought, I felt good in the warm-up, I felt good in the walk to the day of the fight, I felt good in the locker room, felt good in the walk out, felt good when I slapped gloves with him. Something happened when we got close, and it was just like a draining moment that I can’t even explain.
“A lot of people say you have an out-of-body experience,” he continued. “I wanted to swing hard, but I couldn’t, I wanted to punch him, and I didn’t. I wanted to kick, I wanted to not move back, I knew he was trying to take me down. And when I watched a small clip (of the fight), I’m like ‘who the f—k is that? That ain’t me.’”
And while his coach said he would have been more motivated if he were fighting hated rival Colby Covington, Woodley insists he was actually glad he wasn’t beaten by ‘Chaos’:
“I’m definitely f—king way less depressed that it’s not Colby. That motherf—
Some were fast to point to Woodley’s ventures as a rapper and actor as distractions from his fighting career. They even went so far as to blame those ventures for his loss. But Woodley won’t blame those things. He claims he does many things exceptionally as an artist:
“What I say to those people is that the renaissance man was one person that did a lot of things average,” Woodley said. “That motherf—ker ain’t me. I’m not him. I do a lot of things exceptional because I’m an artist.”
Woodley also won’t apologize for doing those things. The former champion said he could not deny the gifts God had given him:
“I won’t apologize for being an artist, and I won’t sit on my gifts that God gave me, and I won’t not participate in other things because I’m a fighter. I fight three times a year. I’m a dad more, I’m an entrepreneur more, technically, I’m a musician more. I more songs than I do fights in the Octagon.
“When I do my training camp and I do my stuff, I’m very focused, I’m very in tune,” he continued. “But there are so many hours in a day. If you choose to play Fortnite and I choose to go make a song, that’s our choice and that’s our selection.”
Finally, Woodley made a bold claim that he was still a way better fighter than Usman. He’s already cried about losing the belt, but the harsh reality is he’s no longer champ:
“I personally to this day think that skill set for skill set, experience for experience, I’m a way better fighter. But, on that night, he was the more focused fighter. He executed, and I didn’t.
“So at that moment in time, it’s not my belt. It hurts for me to say it, it’s f—king heartbreaking, I’ve shed tears about it, but it’s not my belt right now. It’s his belt.”