Former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley will be making his pro boxing debut next week against YouTube star turned boxing sensation Jake Paul in Cleveland, Ohio. The event is headlining a SHOWTIME pay-per-view boxing card that has generated a lot of interest from fans, media, and competitors from within the combat sports realm. It’s par for the course for a fight including the media lightning rod that Paul, and his brother Logan, have become in their shared foray into combat sports.
Masvidal picking KO win for Tyron Woodley vs Jake Paul
With all the intriguing surrounding the bout, opinions from fighters from around the MMA sphere are readily available. Even from the highest levels of the UFC, as we found out on a new episode of MMAFighting podcast The MMA Hour. Host Ariel Helwani asked “BMF” champion Jorge Masvidal during his guest spot on the show about the boxing bout. And although “Gamebred” aimed to be respectful in his opinion, he still had a definitive vision on the result of the fight.
“Not to diss Jake, but Woodley can throw them hands. Ben Askren never could. You’ve got a guy that can fight and sling fists when it’s time. Woodley could have made his money grappling, which he did. He was good enough of an athlete, and he was good enough of an athlete to make money with his hands, to knock people the f*ck out,” Masvidal said [h/t BJ Penn]
“I know Jake’s never been in there with a guy like that, that’s explosive, that’s a good athlete, and has a ton of experience over him. If Jake wins, f*cking wow. My hat’s off to him. I was wrong. I don’t know shit about fighting, right? But chances are Woodley’s going to knock him the f*ck out.”
Masvidal, 36, is a respected name in MMA and is considered one of the most gifted strikers in the UFC welterweight division. Having scored 16 knockout wins in his career, and consecutive KOs in his last three victories is proof of his talents when it comes to imparting violence with his hands and feet. His opinion on a fistfight holds a lot of weight in the industry.
However, it has to be noted that Masvidal and Woodley have trained together for years, with both using powerhouse MMA gym American Top Team in Florida as a base for many of their fight camps. Meaning, the former street fighter’s opinion may not be completely unbiased.
Woodley (19-7) lost four straight bouts in the Octagon before eventually moving on from the UFC and into the sweet science for this upcoming bout. Along with being a former 170-pound champion in the UFC, he is also a former Strikeforce welterweight champion.
Paul is unbeaten in his first three bouts. The last came against former Bellator and ONE Championship welterweight titleholder Ben Askren in April. The 24-year-old won by knockout in a little over a minute in that matchup.