Tyron Woodley has fought just once since 2015 began, but if you think the welterweight won’t be ready tonight at UFC 201 as a result, “The Chosen One” will tell you otherwise.
Woodley will take on the welterweight champ Robbie Lawler in the card’s main event. Since the decorated wrestler hasn’t fought since January, 2015, when Woodley defeated Kelvin Gastelum, many have questioned whether cage rust could be a factor.
Well, here is what Woodley had to say, while discussing the time he’s spent on the sidelines, waiting for a title shot (quote via UFC.com):
“Things happen for a reason,” Woodley said. “I think the time when you’re actually not fighting is the difference maker. If you’re sitting there, eating Tootsie Rolls and getting fat, and not training, and not working on your skill set then yeah, it’s going to be tough for you to just jump back in there, but if you’ve been watching films and reading books, you’ve been training.”
Now sure, lots of folks will tell you that training isn’t the same thing as fighting, and that most fighters seem to struggle somewhat after a lengthy layoff.
That said, it’s also worth noting that Woodley did have a complete training camp last fall, while preparing to fight Johny Hendricks in October. The fight fell through after Hendricks encountered serious issues making weight. So, while Woodley didn’t fight, it’s not like he’s been sitting round doing nothing as he alluded to. It’s going to be fascinating to see what happens.
UFC 201 will be hosted by the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.