Will Dana White and the UFC marketing machine now get behind Tyron Woodley?

Monday, September 10, 2018

It’s rarely hard to tell who UFC president Dana White wants to win the main event or a PPV. Prior to UFC 228, headlined by welterweight champion Tyron Woodley vs. Darren Till, White had this to say.

“Tyron Woodley is good-looking, has the perfect physique, he’s got the record and he’s got knockout power in both hands,” said White, as transcribed by Mike Chiappetta for MMA Fighting. “But every time Tyron Woodley opens his mouth, he shoots himself in the foot. He’s a very unlikable guy to fight fans. Till is the exact opposite. When you’re from England, and you’re in the United States and in Texas, and they’re booing the American guy and cheering the English guy, I think that sums it up and says how the fans feel about you. So it’s the way Tyron Woodley has always been, and the way Tyron Woodley will always be, win, lose or draw.”

This was standard fare from the UFC boss, who has said Woodley “chokes in the big fights,” was “full of s***” for claiming a fight vs. Nate Diaz was under consideration, and asked: “Who wants to pay to see Tyron Woodley fight again?”

Woodley has more title defenses than any champion in the UFC, hasn’t lost in four years, finished his opponent in six of nine Octagon wins, is so skilled at social media he has his own Hollywood Beatdown show on TMZ Sports, has or has scheduled nine film roles, is about to release a single with Wiz Khalifa, and always carries himself with intelligence and grace.

Saturday night Woodley hit Till 74 times, with kicks, punches, elbows, and a kitchen sink; Till landed one strike. The answer to White’s final question is, “every fight fan.”

In stark contrast to Woodley, former interim champ Colby Covington has assumed – effortlessly – the role of a bigoted heel. That, of course, got him an invitation to The White House.

“I just focus on fighting,” said Woodley at the post-fight press conference. Hopefully, from this weekend forward, the UFC marketing machine can properly get behind The Chosen One. If that doesn’t happen, something is rotten.