This didn’t stop the YouTube star from taking shots at Fury, saying fear was the real reason the 22-year-old withdrew from the fight. As luck would have it, this opened up an opportunity for the 39-year-old Woodley to step in at the last minute. The former UFC Welterweight King said he had been training in case Fury didn’t make the fight and is 100% ready to go.
Woodley revealed to TMZSports that a clause for a third fight is on the table if he were to be victorious in the rematch. "I feel like I won the first fight," he said. "But when I go back out there and beat his *ss and win this fight, win by knockout, then go on to a trilogy and do it again, there will be no doubt."
Prior to their first fight, the pre-fight drama was more entertaining than the fight itself, with an MVP face-to-face moderated by Ariel Helwani' on Showtime Sports and a near brawl at the final press conference.
Woodley ended up losing by a split decision on August 29 at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland, Ohio. He was out struck in nearly every round and was hesitant to engage with Paul. Since the loss, Woodley has
been vocal about running it back. He even got Paul's name tattooed on his middle finger, fulfilling a friendly pre-fight bet if he lost.
Despite the pressure and the risks related to the upcoming rematch, both fighters remain confident, with Paul claiming to have a large chip on his shoulder. It will be interesting to see where both fighters are mentally when fight night arrives.
Being on a five fight losing streak in MMA and boxing, Woodley is certainly under the most pressure. As the rematch approaches, one of the biggest questions is whether Woodley has had enough time to correct the mistakes made in the first fight, such as being too passive and not capitalizing when Paul is in trouble. He is the more experienced fighter, but it was Paul who displayed the higher boxing I.Q.
Woodley, 0-1 in boxing, is known for being gun shy and freezing in fights, which has led to his being called "The Frozen One," mocking his fighter name "The Chosen One." Despite having explosiveness and incredible knockout power, he refuses to engage his opponents. Jake outboxed him before due to his hesitation, which might just happen again.
When analyzing this fight, both fighters have the ability to knock out the other at any given moment. Paul's singular focus on the art of boxing has led to dramatic improvements in every fight as they increase in difficulty. In their first fight, he won six of the eight rounds against Woodley. That's a huge confidence boost for any fighter with limited experience.
He uses his jab like a veteran boxer, especially when going to the body. He has respectable power, and is capable of knocking out anyone moving forward or backward. He showed this in the Nate Robinson fight. This is something Woodley has to think about if he comes out guns blazing.
Tyron Woodley has every incentive to win this fight. He’s been offered the rematch he’s been vying for and even a bonus if he can knock Jake Paul out. It will be fascinating to see how Woodley approaches this fight on Saturday night. At UFC 260 in March, he was dropped by Vicente Luque for being overly aggressive. Will he make the same mistake in the Paul rematch?
To win this fight, "The Chosen One" has to show up on fight night and be more active. The scoring in boxing is different from that in MMA. Because there are no takedowns or Octagon control. A boxer can’t sit back and wait for a one-hitter quitter to present itself. Punches have to be set up with combinations and great footwork.
Has he got enough boxing skills to survive if he gets hurt without being able to fall back on his wrestling? We’ve seen Jake face adversity and survive, but Woodley is still unproven in that regard. His game plan should be to work the body and stay on the inside of the taller fighter.
Utilizing great head movement, angles, and footwork should set up an uppercut that could end the fight in the later rounds when Jake slows down from those body shots. We will see it all go down Saturday night, December 18 at the Amalie Arena at 9 p.m. ET. On Showtime.
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