Tyron Woodley knocked out Robbie Lawler to win the UFC welterweight championship, and successfully defended it four times. He's fought a murderers' row of top fighters including Kamaru Usman, Colby Covington, Carlos Condit, and Rory MacDonald, but during a recent interview with Helen Yee, "The Chosen One" offered a surprising reply when asked about his hardest fight.
“The toughest opponent I’ve ever fought was a dude named Nathan Coy," replied Woodley. "He was actually a teammate of mine at American Top Team. The other guys I fought, I just did not perform, or I backed up too much. Or Marquardt, I was relaxed for one second too long on the cage and he threw me the elbow buffet.”
“But Nathan Coy, I was there. And I was a 100% and I was going hard and he was going hard. And I threw up so bad after this fight. I was like oh my god it was so hard…. And it was such a close fight, and I barely won it, but I was fighting as hard as I could and he was fighting as hard as he could. And he’s the only one that I’ve ever fought at the level that matched me. Anyone else I fought at 50% or more, I knocked out or beat or snapped them. When people are beating me, I am not remotely where I am supposed to be at.”
Woodley beat Coy via Split Decision at Strikeforce Challengers: Lindland vs. Casey on May 21, 2010, moving his record to 6-0.
Woodley also discussed training with Francis Ngannou.
“I was just in the gym with Ngannou, and he was working on some single leg,” began Woodley. “I grabbed his leg, and his strength and his power ... he don't really quite grasp how f***ing strong he is. He don't get it. He's like what if I do this to you (makes a face shoving motion). One, don't do that. Two, I don’t know what I would do, because I never felt nobody mush my face and make me feel like my nose is gonna break."
Ngannou's next fight is a title challenge rematch vs. heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic in the main event of UFC 260 on March 27. Woodley's next fight is vs. Vincent Luque, on the main card of the same show. Woodley is now on a three-fight losing streak. With a loss, he could be cut.