It brought out the old Tyrone Woodley Back.
It sounds strange now, but a year and a half ago Woodley, 38, became the world’s welterweight champion. Can’t blame anyone for forgetting. His title run ended unexpectedly with a one-sided dribbling in hand Kamaru Usman. When Woodley came back 14 months later and gave an equally flat performance any hopes were dashed that the performance was just overnight Gilbert Burns.
He gave less resistance in giving his belt to Usman and showed zero necessity in the fight to come back later. His career clearly needed a spark, and a better Kindling than a match with a man who had a great missed opportunity during his time as a great opponent and championColby Covington.
Former training partner. A brush, arrogant sh * ty disturber. Proud MAGA spokesperson. In Cowington, Woodley had yin to his yang, a clear target for his scenes and firing. All he had to do was pull the trigger.
As we found out on Saturday UFC Vegas11, Woodley is doomed to come out empty “chosen”, despite everything to stand out from him. Take nothing away from the Cowington performance. While Woodman and Burns put a blueprint on how to beat Woodley, Covington followed it up with a tea and developed on it. Pour over pressure. Strike in volume. Back against the woody cage and let him suck.
Cowington also did what Usman and Burns could not do – he finished Woodley. In doing so, he may even have completed Woodley’s career, boasting that he will do so for ages.
This is not to say that Woodley did not have the ability to effectively predict the end of his career. He is still in incredible shape, and against Cowington, there are ephemeral glimpses of the warrior he once was. But his dynamite claim is always small, his withdrawal defense is one step, and his elite clich is not enough to keep Cowington away from him. These are the gaps in his mental game, not his skill set. The type that is the most difficult to fill.
Think about the level of mental intensity you need to reach to compete at the highest levels of MMA. To become a world champion. That intensity, that instinct, to continue for years. Think about learning how to moderate it, close it so that you can become a community working member, television analyst, family person. Imagine what it would be like when that switch went down and refused to go back up.
This is the accompanying demand lifestyle Georges St.-Pierre Four years out of the sport. It makes warriors likeable Daniel Carmier After you make that last walk to the octagon, it takes a long time to realize that it can take the jaws of life to open that cage door again. From the first round of Woodley title defense against Usman, it was clear that something had gone wrong, and only Woodley after 14 rounds would confirm what the problem was. We know for sure, this is a problem that cannot be easily solved.
Even when he was on top, Woodley had the feeling that he knew about his deaths. Instead of reaping his immediate harvest of Championship Challengers, he campaigned for fights with absentee fans’ favorite “GSP” and Nick Diaz Anoints himself as the greatest welterweight of all time. He seems to know that there must be a faster way to consolidate his legacy than to accumulate title defenses against mainstream non-cachet-less opponents. Those matches never materialized, and when Woodley did his duty and fought with many real competitors, he never seemed to get what he wanted.
At this point, he wants to put together another memorable winning performance before closing the book on his Hall of Fame career. Unfortunately for Woodley, he had no obvious choice to go out with a high note.
Maybe he’s a rival to turn Nick Diaz’s comeback rumors into reality, but if his comparison with Cowington is a little earlier, it could be a meeting with 37 – year – old Diaz, who has not fought since 2015, before the best date, as well as the deadline. The same can be said about the rematch Robbie Lawler, 38, it is possible to conspire, but even more frustration for fans who have to watch the performances of these former champions will fade before their eyes.
What’s next? Feed him up on an off-chance that could motivate Woodley to show that he is more than a gatekeeper? It stretched. Pairing up with another respected veteran like one Alex Oliveira, Or Gunnar Nelson, Or James Cross Or – who am I kidding? Woodley is likely to be interested in rebuilding himself in the old fashioned way.
Then there’s retirement, with Woodley’s name set to bring a choice every time it comes in the news. This is what is happening to Laurel. Heck, this is happening to another veteran who fought Saturday, Donald Serron. Advice is not a matter of disrespect; This is pragmatism.
This is not the place to tell Woodley what to do. Anyone knows what a meat grinder is in this business, and how easily the mold goes from being considered prime beef. He is well aware of the narrow paths he has left to choose from after missing a golden opportunity to keep the road open for another title shot. It takes Woodley to find out what the next step on this journey is, or whether it is even worth taking.