Tyron Woodley is no longer the UFC welterweight champion. It also doesn’t appear he will be getting an instant rematch like many champions get, as evident by Cody Garbrandt, Stipe Miocic, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, and others.
Now, Woodley is on the outside looking in, but his coach in Duke Roufus believes the time off is good for him.
“The nice thing about injuries is if you have the right perspective, you take an injury and it actually help you grow as an athlete,” Roufus told MMA Fighting. “What I like, everyone knows that he has an incredible right hand, well he’s been really focused on mastering his left hand. He spends a lot of time in L.A. with his film and music career and broadcasting, then he goes to a lot of training at Wild Card Boxing with coach Eric Brown and I noticed a substantial difference in his skill set when we got together during training.
“We had some fun sessions, very fruitful, very enjoyable, working on a lot of new things. That’s the positives he’s been getting from the injury.”
Although Tyron Woodley is either liked or hated, he has received some unfair criticism. Many say the former champ was too busy focusing on money fights. Yet, Roufus points out that he always fought the top contenders and had four fights in under a calendar year, which many champions do not do.
“I want to reiterate about Tyron, a lot of people don’t realize, we soldiered through back-to-back-to-back-to-back fights, right out of injury into short training camps,” Roufus said. “A lot of people sometimes don’t give Tyron his due credit. He fought four title fights in 364 days. The only guy to break that record is Jon Jones. Those were back-to-back fights, we were doing six-week training camps for five-round fights, which is kind of an anomaly in our sport. Most people want to take a longer training camp for a longer fight and I’m very proud of that body of work that we put together through Woodley, coach Din (Thomas), and myself.
“He was on just a crazy schedule, so I like this little layoff. It’s helping Tyron grow not only as a fighter, but as a person. And I’m proud of him too. You only live once, so I’m happy he’s pursuing music, acting, etc., he’s just a very happy guy right now.”