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Former UFC champ Tyron Woodley reveals new nickname, explains reason for change

Former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley is no longer known as “The Chosen One.”

Tyron Woodley at the LIV Golf Invitational in Boston in September.
Tyron Woodley at the LIV Golf Invitational in Boston in September.
Photo by Chris Trotman/LIV Golf via Getty Images

Throughout his professional fighting career and his stint as the UFC welterweight champion, Tyron Woodley went by the name of “The Chosen One.” But as he revealed in a recent interview with MMA Junkie, he’s now known as “The Realest.”

“Jon Jones is probably the best fighter we’ve ever seen, no matter what he did… he is fighting the best fighter. Demetrious Johnson, I think, is the most well-rounded fighter we’ve ever seen. But he didn’t get the credit.

“So it shows you that it’s not about being well-rounded and a great fighter. It’s about what you mean and what you imprinted and what you left behind. Like, I switched my name from ‘The Chosen One’ to ‘The Realest,’ ‘cause you can never say I buckled. You can never say I folded. You can never say I went with the grain when I knew I was not right to go with the grain.

“I always stood up for what I believed in, I got a lot of criticism for it when I did. But once people got into that same seat, then now you see Francis Ngannou saying, ‘Oh the UFC…’ But before then, everybody was like hunky dory because they feel like you gotta kiss the ass to get what you need to get.

“I was just original,” he added. “And I feel like I was the realest in the sport.”

After four straight losses in the UFC beginning in 2019, Woodley decided not to re-sign with the promotion after his contract lapsed. He then took on two boxing matches with Jake Paul, both of which he lost. The most recent one happened in late 2021 where he suffered a faceplant knockout in the sixth round.