Din Thomas has been Tyron Woodley’s coach and trainer for years, and while the two have not spoken much since Woodley’s release from the UFC, the coach knew something was in the works. That’s why Din Thomas said he wasn’t shocked when news dropped that Woodley would be facing YouTube star turned pro boxer, Jake Paul, but he is a bit surprised at the reaction to Woodley’s skillset.
The former UFC welterweight champion who has five world titles to his resume ended his run with the promotion by losing four straight to the likes of Kamaru Usman, Colby Covington, Gilbert Burns, and Vicente Luque. But now that it’s been announced that he’s signed on to box Paul on August 28, the focus shifts to how he will fare inside the boxing ring. When the two came face-to-face on Thursday, Paul noted Woodley being 39 and losing four straight as to why he feels he has the clear advantage over him, but Din Thomas had a much different take.
During his weekly appearance on ‘MMA Today‘ on Sirius XM’s Fight Nation, Din Thomas says he believes Woodley is being drastically underestimated as a boxer.
“People are drastically underestimating how well Tyron [Woodley] can actually box,” Thomas said. “I believe him to be more of a boxer, believe it or not, he’s more of a boxer than he is a MMA fighter. Even in his gym he’s got a ring, not a cage. He’s got shoes everywhere, boxing gloves, he wraps his hands with tapes and gauze every time he boxes, he’s a boxer at heart.”
“But when you add in the elements of MMA, all that goes out the window and now it’s like he never wanted to box before, it’s like he just wants to throw right hands. But when you allow him the opportunity to put on his shoes and say ‘Here man, put on your shoes, put on these 10-ounce gloves, and just box. All you have to worry about is just boxing.’ The boy can box, and based on his performances, especially the last couple, you wouldn’t think so. Even before that, you would think he’s just a right hand but the boy can box and I think everybody is drastically underestimating how well he can box.”
When it comes to the former UFC champion, Woodley, fighting Paul, the YouTube star turned pro boxer, who has a 3-0 record, Din Thomas says it’s actually a win-win for the former champion.
— MMA on SiriusXM (@MMAonSiriusXM) June 3, 2021
“When we talk about combat sports we always have to recognize the difference between the entertainment aspect and the sport aspect of it, and they’re exactly opposite, they’re like the inverse of each other. With the sport aspect it’s skills, technique, what everybody considers boring and the inverse is the entertainment aspect of it. Trash talk, flash, bling, likes retweets, and that’s what it is, it’s the exact opposite. And somehow, he paid the cost of losing in the sport aspect to get here on the opposite end of it, on the top side of the entertainment aspect. He can go off and say, ‘I lost, I’m older now, but now at least I’m going to get paid.’ For me, it’s a win-win for him, regardless.
Not many people know Tyron Woodley as well as Din Thomas does, and this outlook on the former champion’s chances against Jake Paul is certainly one that’s being overlooked. He’s set to make the most money of his entire fighting career, and silence plenty of critics about his talent.
Mike Pendleton is a current contributor to MyMMANews, BJPenn.com, and TheScrap.Co while also hosting his “On The Mic” podcast and works as an Associate Producer on Sirius XM’s Fight Nation channel.
With a special passion for interviewing and talking to some of the very best around the fight game, you can read or listen to Mike’s work across his multiple outlets.
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