At this point former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley can only be left to wonder if he could have ever got that rematch anyway, no matter what hoops he jumped through. The longtime MMA fighter and former UFC title holder landed on the biggest payday of his combat sports career recently, when he made his pro boxing debut against YouTube star turned pugilist Jake Paul.
The boxing bout between the two men went down in Cleveland, OH, back in August, and reportedly generated somewhere in the neighborhood of 500,000 buys for what was essentially a low level club fight on PPV. Ahead of the bout the two men made a ‘tattoo bet’, whereby the loser would get “I love [winner’s name]” inked on their body after the match. Woodley lost by split decision, after which he hoped to swing the deal into an instant rematch.
“It went from, ‘Get the tattoo, and it’s a rematch,’ to ‘get the tattoo and we’ll think about a rematch,’ to, ‘Oh, he didn’t get the tattoo, so there’s no rematch,” Woodley said in a September interview with MMA Fighting. “It sounds like he’s just fucking scared to fight.”
Woodley would eventually go on to get the tattoo anyway, as honor dictated. But, if he had thought the body art would seal the deal between them for another meeting inside the ring, that doesn’t appear to be the case.
“By the time he got the tattoo we had already moved on to fighting Tommy Fury and making that fight negotiation happen,” Paul told TMZ Sports (transcript via MMA Fighting). “I don’t think people really want to see Tyron vs. Jake Paul again. He had his chance.”
But, Fury isn’t the only name on Paul’s mind. The former Disney actor has also been keeping a back-and-forth going with UFC star Nate Diaz. The Cesar Gracie fighter is approaching the last bout on his UFC contract, after which it seems very likely that he’ll enter the free agency market. If that’s the case, a fight against Paul may be directly on his horizon.
“By whose account? (Nate Diaz)’s got the best hands?” Paul said when asked about facing Diaz. “Who said that? This guy has got like 40 losses on his record. (But) yeah, for sure. I’m gonna beat him up into a pulp, no problem, no issue. I’m gonna Stockton Slap the sh*t out of that b*tch.”
Paul vs. Fury is set to take place on December 18th at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL. Like Paul vs. Woodley, the 192 lb catchweight bout will take place on Showtime PPV in US markets. Women’s featherweight champion Amanda Serrano is also expected to compete on the card, in a lightweight bout against Miriam Gutiérrez. A heavyweight fight between former NBA player Deron Willams and former NFL player Frank Gore is set for the undercard.