Tyron Woodley: ‘I Don’t Even Really Like Fighting…I’m Just Good At It’

Tyron Woodley explains his problems with the sport of mixed martial arts

Tyron Woodley is the best welterweight in the world but it turns out he doesn’t actually like fighting all that much.

Woodley appeared on Joe Rogan’s MMA podcast on Thursday where he explained that he’s actually not a really big fan of fighting but it just so happens that he excels at the sport, which is why he’s stuck around for so long.

“I don’t even really like fighting to be honest,” Woodley said. “I’m just good at it.”

When asked to expand on that statement, Woodley said that his disdain towards fighting has nothing to do with the long hours he puts in at the gym or even the competition inside the Octagon.

Instead, Woodley points to the elements outside of the cage including the politics that go into how fighters gain popularity these days, especially in the age of Conor McGregor where talking the talk has become just as important as walking the walk.

“I don’t like the politics behind it. I don’t like the martial arts aspect has been taken away from it. I don’t like the disrespect to the sport,” Woodley explained. “Guys that aren’t really training hard. They don’t look the part. I think professional athletes should look a certain way. I really don’t like the youth, this generation of fighters that watch a move on TV, on YouTube and they go and want to do it.

“They don’t want to drill repetitions, they don’t want to actually put in the work.”

Obviously, Woodley can choose to carry himself in a different way, which is something he prides himself on when it comes to his own career.

Still, Woodley can’t help but be affected by how the sport has changed in recent years because he still has to defend his title but recently it seems like contenders are being determined more by outside the cage antics rather than inside the cage performances.

“It affects me because our sport is also the fans and the fans actually the culture who gets the fight. If a guy’s going to talk enough s–t and start wearing fly suits then in this day and age, that’s good enough for a title shot,” Woodley stated. “I think that’s disrespectful to everybody that came before. Remember you had to go 10-0 and then you get the f–king call from the UFC?

“If Conor wants Artem Lobov in the UFC and a .500 record, he’s going to be in the UFC. It’s ways that the sport has taken the love out of it.”

Of course, Woodley will never allow anything to diminish his own passion for martial arts where he’s constantly pushing himself to get better in the gym as he maintains his goal to retire as the greatest welterweight fighter of all time.

Still, Woodley can’t help but feel a little dejected at the way the sport has become as much about entertainment as what actually takes place in the fights.

“I love training,” Woodley said. “I don’t like what the sport has become.”

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.