When you think of the toughest opponents Tyron Woodley has faced, the likes of Kamaru Usman, Stephen Thompson and Robbie Lawler come into mind. But for Woodley, the hardest fight he’s ever had was against Nathan Coy.
Coy (15-7) is a UFC and Bellator veteran, who hasn’t fought since being released by the UFC in 2017. Woodley and Coy fought at a Strikeforce event in 2010, with Woodley getting the nod by split decision. The 42-year-old Coy competed on season 21 of The Ultimate Fighter and was eliminated early on, the same season in which Usman went on to win.
“The toughest opponent I’ve ever fought was a dude named Nathan Coy,” Woodley recently told Helen Yee “He was actually a teammate of mine at American Top Team. The other guys I fought, I just didn’t perform, or I backed up too much. Nathan Marquardt, I just relaxed for one second too long on the cage and he threw me the elbow buffet.”
Woodley (19-6-1) is currently on a three-fight losing streak in the UFC, dropping his last fights to Colby Covington, Gilbert Burns and Usman. Reflecting back on his fight with Coy, Woodley stated he is the only fighter that has ever matched his level in the octagon.
“But Nathan Coy, I was there,” Woodley continued. “And I was 100 percent and I was going hard and he was going hard. I threw up so bad after this fight. Oh my God, it was so hard, it was such a close fight. I barely won it, but I was fighting as hard as I could and he was fighting as hard as he could. He’s the only one that I’ve ever fought to the level that matched me. Anybody else I fought at 50% or more, I knocked out or beat or snapped them. When people are beating me, I am not even remotely where I am supposed to be at.”