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‘I couldn’t be happier for him’ - Daniel Cormier admits tattoo bet ‘worked’ for Tyron Woodley

DC was one of Woodley’s principal critics over the ex-welterweight champ’s decision to go through with his tattoo bet against Jake Paul, after losing their first boxing match back in August.

Tyron Woodley stalks Jake Paul during their August PPV boxing match.
Tyron Woodley stalks Jake Paul during their August PPV boxing match.
Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

“Don’t do it”—that was the advice Daniel Cormier gave Tyron Woodley when it started to sound like the former welterweight UFC champion was going to get “I love Jake Paul” tattooed on his body. The ink was the result of a handshake bet made with Paul ahead of their August PPV bout, that the loser would forever carry the winner’s name.

Woodley walked out with a split decision loss. And despite attempting to raise the stakes, and make a rematch as a condition of getting the tattoo done, Woodley eventually caved, and got the new body art on the underside of his middle finger on his left hand.

And even though Paul dismissed the idea of a rematch following the completion of the bet, it seems everything worked out for Woodley in the end. He’s getting a shot at redemption, following Tommy Fury’s withdrawal from a planned PPV bout with Paul on December 18th. And with Woodley now filling in on short notice, Cormier is back to admit that - while he still isn’t a fan of the tattoo - he’s happy to have been wrong about this one.

“I have been a number of things in my life, a lot of good things, a lot of bad things, but the one thing I am not is a hater,” Cormier said in a video posted to his YouTube channel (transcript via MMA Fighting). “At times, when this whole Tyron Woodley and Jake Paul thing was going on I may have come off as a bit of a hater because I didn’t want T-Wood to get the tattoo, I didn’t like the way the rematch was asked for, but guess what? It actually worked. And I’ve got to be honest, I can’t say I would be happier for anyone more than I am for Tyron right now, because he felt that he won the last fight and then, obviously he didn’t get the decision, and it felt like them kids were playing him.

“It felt like Jake Paul and his brother were gonna play Tyron, telling him he had to get a tattoo, Logan Paul saying, ‘Hey man, you had your chance.’ It felt like they were trying to play T-Wood, but honestly, Tyron did what he had to do, which even if you don’t agree with it, obviously there was some good favor with him getting the tattoo because otherwise they would’ve looked for someone else. I still have my same opinions on the tattoo but that don’t really matter right now because T-Wood gets the rematch....

“Everything’s out there for T-Wood. It’s out there for T-Wood to go and get it done right now and honestly, I couldn’t be happier for him. When a person has to go through what he went through, the ridicule from all his friends, family, everyone, all of us, people who he considered his friends for a long time were judging him harshly, saying he was foolish to do what he did. He stayed the course, he believed in himself, he believed in what could happen potentially for him, and now he finds himself right on the cusp of another massive payday.”

Following their first bout, Jake Paul and Tyron Woodley both walked away with $2,000,000 in base pay, before any PPV numbers were even announced. That number more or less guaranteed that the fight was the highest paying of Woodley’s combat sports career.

Woodley’s highest recorded, pre-PPV split, paydays previously came in his five-fight run after securing the UFC welterweight title over Robbie Lawler. Woodley earned $500,000 for each of those fights, with a $100,000 win bonus for his victory over Stephen Thompson at UFC 209 (Woodley’s other title fights with recorded pay data do not show him otherwise earning a win bonus).

There’s no word yet on what the contract agreement for Paul vs. Woodley 2 looks like, but a representative from Paul’s camp has confirmed that their bout contains a $500,000 KO bonus for Woodley if he can stop Paul inside the distance.