Former UFC welterweight champion, Tyron Woodley makes his return to the Octagon this weekend at UFC 260 — taking co-main event honours against the gritty, Vicente Luque, attempting to snap a three-fight losing skid in the process.
The Missouri native, regarded as one of the best welterweights of his generation at the peak of his powers, has suffered a trio of one-sided losses in his three most recent Octagon walks. Dropping his 170-pound crown to current pacesetter, Kamaru Usman in March of 2019. Woodley returned last May against most recent title challenger, Gilbert Burns — suffering a second straight unanimous decision loss.
Finally pitted with former interim champion, long-standing rival, Colby Covington at UFC Vegas 11 last September, Woodley suffered a fifth round rib injury, resulting in a TKO loss, however, he was losing the fight on all three judge’s scorecards, in quite clear-cut fashion.
Speaking with media assembled ahead of this weekend’s pay-per-view event, Woodley claimed that “quitting is not an option” for him — detailing how he plans to eventually call time on his career when he’s back on top of the welterweight pile.
“I just know with me performing to the level I can perform, everything else is just going to pan itself out,” Woodley said. “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.“”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 explained. “I got twenty or thirty 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,” Woodley said. “For me, It’s really just focusing and really just 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 and those are the things I have to deal with.“
“Quitting is not an option,” Woodley continued. “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 (Kamaru Usman), (ranked) one (Colby Covington), and two (Gilbert Burns). But on paper, I’m a better fighter than all of them.” (H/T BJPENN.com)
If Woodley manages to snap his skid against the ever-present, Luque, he’ll have notched his first professional victory since September of 2018 at UFC 228 where he secured his third defence of the undisputed welterweight championship with a second round D’Arce win over middleweight contender, Darren Till.
With a 19-6 record including seven knockouts and five submission stoppages, the Roufusport trainee has lodged notable victories over the likes of Andre Galvao, Tarec Saffiedine, Paul Daley, Jordan Mein, Josh Koscheck, Carlos Condit, Kelvin Gastelum, Robbie Lawler, Stephen Thompson, and Demian Maia.