Sport Ahead of UFC 260, 'quitting is not an option' for Tyron Woodley. He's 'got to go out on top'
Vicente Luque sees Tyron Woodley as ideal test to reach top five: 'I need a fight like this'
knows what's at stake in his next UFC bout. The UFC welterweight contender is booked for arguably the biggest fight of his career, as he takes on former UFC champion Tyron Woodley on the main card of UFC 260, which takes place March 27 in Las Vegas. The bout currently…The UFC welterweight contender is booked for arguably the biggest fight of his career, as he takes on former UFC champion Tyron Woodley on the main card of UFC 260, which takes place March 27 in Las Vegas. The bout currently sits in a featured slot, just before the two title fights that occupy the main and co-main event positions on the card.
LAS VEGAS – Tyron Woodley knows how things have looked recently. His last three fights have ended in losses, and he doesn’t care they were to top contenders.
In the midst of fight week, Woodley (19-6-1 MMA, 9-5-1 UFC) plans on the end result of hisfight against Vicente Luque to come down to a simple equation. If he performs to the best of his ability, he wins. If not, he’ll lose.
“You can really control your performance,” Woodley told MMA Junkie at a pre-fight news conference Wednesday. “I just know with me performing to the level I can perform, everything else is just going to pan itself out. I’m not going to have to worry about wins and losses. I’m not going to have to worry about bonuses and big fights.”
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As simple as it sounds, not understanding that was an issue for Woodley in the past. Perceived by some as a fighter who often competed with a chip on his shoulder, Woodley enters his battle with Luque (19-7-1 MMA, 12-3 UFC) unconcerned about the public opinion.
“I think I was focused so heavily on proving people wrong so many times in my career that it took away from proving people right,” Woodley said. “I got 20 or 30 people I’ve got to prove right: coaches, loved-ones, kids, training partners, people who really supported me since the beginning. It’s millions of people you’ve got to try to prove wrong. For me, it’s just really focusing and really understanding that life is not a straight path. It can be, but we make choices. I made choices in my life that kind of veered me off that path.”
UFC 260 'Embedded,' No. 3: Francis Ngannou gets submission pointers from Jake Shields
The UFC's heavyweight title is on the line Saturday in a bout the promotion is billing as the "biggest, baddest rematch" when reigning champion faces the hard-hitting . The bout is the UFC 260 main event at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and early prelims on ESPN+. Miocic (20-3 MMA, 14-3 UFC) and Ngannou (15-3 MMA, 10-2 UFC) first met in 2018, in the main event of UFC 220. That night, Miocic dominated over the course of five rounds to prove himself the baddest man on the planet.
Woodley, who turns 39 on April 7, has not won a fight since a September 2018 title defense against Darren Till. He’s competed three times since then, a skid that consists of two unanimous decision losses (to Kamaru Usman and Gilbert Burns) and a fifth-round TKO defeat due to injury (to Colby Covington). Despite his recent struggles, Woodley won’t consider retirement unless he’s on top.
“Quitting is not an option,” Woodley said. “I’ve got to go out on top like I plan to do in the way I saw myself at the beginning of the sport. That’s not the way. It wasn’t losing to these guys. Although they were the champion, one, and two. But on paper, I’m a better fighter than all of them.”
Though he admits his mind could’ve been in more productive places in past fights, Woodley thinks his physical preparation was never short of perfect. That makes losing a difficult problem to solve. At the end of the day, Woodley needs to perform. That’s it.
UFC 260 pre-event facts: Stipe Miocic aims to enhance GOAT resume
The UFC's fourth numbered event of the year takes place Saturday with UFC 260, which goes down at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas with a main card that airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and ESPN+. A heavyweight championship rematch is featured in the event h eadliner. Stipe Miocic (20-3 MMA, 14-3 UFC) will once again look to defend the title against Francis Ngannou (15-3 MMA, 10-2 UFC) after winning their first encounter by unanimous decision at UFC 220 in January 2018. For more on the numbers behind the main event, as well as the rest of the card, check below for 45 pre-event facts about UFC 260.
“I just see myself controlling the variables that I can control,” Woodley said. “I’ve trained. I’ve put my body through the fire. I’m ready to go. Just performing, performing. I don’t even know how I can say it any different way. I’m trying to draw some more fancier, $50 words for you but that’s all it really boils down to is performing. I do that against (Luque) and I just focus on who’s in front of me. Every fight is the biggest fight, and after that, it’s the next biggest fight and performance. If I can do that, I think I’ll be fine.
UFC 260 takes place Saturday at the UFC Apex. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and early prelims on ESPN+.MORE:
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