A legacy is a delicate thing, and Chris Weidman believes Tyron Woodley may have severely damaged his after being knocked out by Jake Paul earlier this month.
Woodley served as a short-notice replacement for Tommy Fury, who was set to meet Paul before a broken rib and chest bacterial infection forced him to withdraw from the fight. The ‘Chosen One’ had already suffered a split decision defeat to the ‘Problem Child’, but still wanted another opportunity to prove he could beat the YouTuber-turned-boxer. Woodley was unable to do that in the rematch and got melted in the sixth round with a hellacious right hand from Paul.
The fight-ending sequence was turned into a meme on social media, with the former UFC welterweight champion the central subject of ridicule—the same fate that befell previous Paul opponents Nate Robinson and Ben Askren. And although Woodley has since taken the loss in stride, Weidman feels that it was far more devastating than T-Wood is letting on.
“I can’t believe Tyron Woodley got knocked out like that. That was crazy,” said Weidman on a recent episode of his ‘Won’t Back Down’ podcast. “He faked to the body and just came super hard with that right hand and I think that was the way he was going to win that fight. So props to him for making it happen. Damn, Tyron Woodley is going to have to live with that. I’ve seen that they’re just comparing him to Ben Askren now. He’s not going to get another chance. Like that’s it. I don’t know who he’s going to fight that would give him the draw and excitement he would need to elevate him back to where he would feel like people would gather behind him and think he’s legit again. I think his legacy is definitely tarnished, which sucks to say.”
Weidman also addressed Paul and his post-fight pursuit of opponents under contract with other promotions such as the UFC. The former UFC middleweight champion made it clear he thinks the whole thing is nothing more than a promotional tactic for Paul, and that his troll persona and should be taken lightly—because the chance of those fights happening is slim to none.
However, if Paul is truly interested in facing legitimate opposition in the ring, Weidman has an option for him.
“I would love to see him fight Anderson Silva,” said Weidman. “He’s calling out all these fighters with UFC contracts. I don’t think he’s really…none of those are really going to happen at this point. The UFC would have to get behind it almost like a Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather type match, but unless you’re drawing in $500 million like the Mayweather and Conor McGregor fights were doing, the UFC is not doing that because they want to split it. They would split it, but if it’s not that type of money, they’re not doing it. So [we’re] wasting our time even talking about [Nate] Diaz, [Jorge] Masvidal and [Kamaru] Usman].
“It’s just a waste of time talking about it, but that’s how he’s amping himself up [and] making himself sound like he’ll fight anybody,” continued Weidman.
Paul remains undefeated as a professional with a record of 5-0.