After all the hype during the build-up to Jake Paul vs. Tyron Woodley, viewers can be forgiven for expecting a war.
In fact, judging by the figures, it seems plenty of boxing/MMA fans even broke cardinal rule 1 and actually splashed out on a Paul brothers’ PPV! – the temptation proving too much for many of us. Especially after seeing Woodley lose his chill when Paul threw some shade at Momma Woodley during the pre-fight presser.
“Paul is going to DIE in there! – I have to buy this PPV!’ (sound familiar?)
Unfortunately, the fight wasn’t exactly what it had been hyped up to be…
Who won the battle of the ring entrances?
Tyron Woodley entered the foray first and, despite a few boos from the crowd, seemed intently focused and confident as he sauntered towards a boxing ring for the first time in his pro career.
Hardly a surprise, The Chosen One has made similar walks many times during his lengthy spell in MMA and is a former world champion, after all.
Jake Paul, on the other hand, strolled down the ramp draped in Cleveland Garb from knee to chin: the Browns, the Indians, the Cavaliers, THE Ohio State University – name any Cleveland-based sports team, and someone from the YouTube videogame playthrough comments section will tell you it was stitched into Paul’s gown – the thing probably had Stipe Miocic‘s head emblazoned onto the hood!
Paul was Mr. Cleveland Ohio last night and the fans responded to it.
Round zero to Paul – he definitely got the fans (and, by proxy, maybe a couple of those ‘inexperienced judges’) on his side.
What happened in the Woodley vs. Paul exhibition fight?
Glancing at the image above, you could be forgiven for thinking that this was a war for the ages; two rivals with no respect going at it for 24 minutes.
It wasn’t like that at all really.
The bout got underway with a final moment of disrespect from Jake Paul towards Tyron Woodley: The Problem Child refused to touch gloves at the referee’s request and, at that point, the whole arena and the millions watching at home were all thinking the same thing – it’s on now!!!
Nope, not at all.
Paul pinched the early rounds vs. Woodley
Paul, the rangier fighter, stuck and moved and flung the jab out there to keep Woodley at bay during the first quarter of the fight, and, to give credit where it’s due, he did a good job of it, too. The Problem Child circled the outside well; kept the jab in Woodley’s face; threw out a couple of flashy combos that did minimal damage but that looked the part, and basically just outstruck the Chosen One throughout the first six minutes.
Woodley connected with just 2/6 punches in the first round and just 2/8 in the second. The former UFC welterweight champion’s complete lack of output meant he was two down heading into the third.
You couldn’t even make an argument for Woodley in that first couple of rounds, which hurt, because, like most MMA fans, I really wanted to!
Woodley finally got going at halftime
The third round really wasn’t much different. But Woodley did finally get a whiff of the smelling salts in rounds four and five, one particular straight snapped Paul’s head back, and a right hook behind the ear sent the YouTuber-come-boxer into the ropes.
Paul looked to be on unsteady ground for a few minutes mid-fight. Why Woodley didn’t go in for the kill is certainly the gas that’s fueling the conspiracy fire doing the rounds on social media today – that’s for sure.
But, we tend not to agree with any of that nonsense here at FB. There will be no cries of ‘fix!’ coming from our head office.
Perhaps Woodley still had a few concerning memories from some of those late-career KO defeats inside the Octagon. Or, it’s possible he was overly focused on NOT being KO’d by Paul and not getting himself embarrassed by making a mistake; maybe he was more gassed than he looked. I don’t know – you’d have to ask Woodley why he didn’t keep the pressure on.
But, whatever happened in there, Tyron Woodley did not go in for the kill and, by rounds six & seven, Paul was back at it again, throwing with more volume; landing with better percentages, and stealing rounds.
Though he did take the final round convincingly, Woodley’s complete lack of output in the early stages came back to haunt him as he lost out 6-2, 6-2, 5-3 on the judges’ scorecards.
Final thoughts on Tyron Woodley vs. Jake Paul
Unfortunately for MMA fans, there can be very little argument that Woodley’s lack of output in rounds one, two, three, and six allowed Jake Paul to take the fight – you can’t win a boxing match without striking.
Something tells me the Chosen One is going to be mad annoyed with himself when he sees the whole thing back on tape: Paul never had him in any bother at any moment of the fight and, to my eye, the KO was on when Woodley had Paul all shook up in the middle rounds.
What else can you say? Woodley didn’t execute; Paul took another prized MMA scalp for his collection, and the MMA community eats humble pie again.
‘It is what it is,’ as Paul’s likely next opponent Tommy Fury would say…