Tyron Woodley’s message to Jake Paul is simple: we had a deal.
Less than 24 hours after the end of Woodley’s blockbuster boxing debut against Paul, which he lost via split decision, the former UFC welterweight champion appeared on The MMA hour and called Paul until honors his end to the new deal the two fighters had agreed upon in the ring Sunday night in Cleveland after their pay-per-view fight — a deal that guaranteed him his shot at an immediate rematch against Paul, as long as he went on to get an “I Love Jake Paul” tattoo somewhere on his body.
“He’s trying to get out of it,” Woodley told host Ariel Helwani. “He’s a coward. I call to you: you are a coward.
“I am willing to be a man and honor my end of the deal. He has made a new deal as he is the one placing the bets. Now the bet exploded in your face. Let’s do it. I am ready and I will. If I have to have my own tattoo artist I think I’ll slip to LA let’s crack it. But I need to see some paperwork because he and his manager are starting to get real [shady]. He told me in there, he said, ‘Tyron, I give you my word.’ this is what [Paul representative] Nakisa [Bidarian] said to me, “Tyron, I give you my word.” And he’s been solid – he’s never told me one thing and hasn’t been solid about it. I have a lot of love for Nakisa. He said, “If you get the tattoo tonight, we’ll give you the rematch.” And I said, ‘Bet. Let’s run it.’”
The tattoo bet is nothing new, of course. Woodley and Paul originally agreed in July that the loser of their fight would receive a tribute to the other man who would be tattooed on their bodies. Paul even flew renowned tattoo artist Tatu Baby to do the deed in the loser’s locker room immediately after Sunday night’s fight, but it didn’t happen when a new version of the deal was proposed amid the post-fight chaos in the ring.
But Woodley made it clear on Monday that he is still trying to get his hands on his new ink as long as Paul stays true to his word. And he’s not worried about what critics in the MMA community and people like Daniel Cormier are like call him to break the deal? have to say about it.
“Man, all these MMA people are trying to tell me what to do,” Woodley said. “Where the hell were those MMA people when they jeered at me? When they didn’t give me the respect or give me the props? But everyone wants to tell me what to do and how to do it? And they all want to follow me now Now everyone is in a boxing gym and is shadow boxing and wants to fight.
“I appreciate the love and support, but think about it – none of these people were on my side. Now do I fucking care what you say? no. I love DC, but sh*t, when it comes down to it arrives we are talking about a rematch this makes more sense for me to get a little f*cking tattoo and i have a story behind it i f*cking got robbed by the jury i slammed this kid through the ropes, they said i lost i got this tattoo and i went to starch his ass.
“This is all part of the story,” Woodley added. “Because if I punch him in the ass, I’m going to look at that tattoo and laugh. And it’s probably going to be a trilogy, because he’s going to want to try and get revenge, and we’re going to have a very fucking Rocky thing.
Woodley, 39, outperformed Paul’s previous three professional boxing opponents, all of whom were knocked out within the first two rounds, including Woodley’s teammate Ben Askren.
Woodley was never really in danger during the eight-lap match and got some big punches of his own, the biggest of which came during a volley on round 4 that nearly knocked Paul through the ropes – a sequence he believes was executed incorrectly and would should’ve been ruled like a knockdown.
“I don’t know how the rules go, and I won’t be petty enough to protest or challenge it or whatever you say,” Woodley said. “But if I hit him, according to my understanding of the rules, if the rope helps you up, we’d be on eight counts. I don’t know if you’ve seen the videos and the memes, but he was under that top rope – the Stefan Struve rope – he was leaning on the No. 2 rope and his wrist on the No. 3 rope. I think if those ropes aren’t there, he’s on his back.
“Maybe his head will bounce off the canvas. Maybe if he gets up and the umpire comes in his face and starts counting him, he’ll go crazy. Maybe I’ll take a deep breath and see the prey a little better and maybe get it out of there. We don’t know because we didn’t get a chance to see that.
“So I feel like whoever said I only won two rounds I will beat,” Woodley continued, “because that’s obviously a joke. And I feel like even though they didn’t consider it a knockdown, I still feel like that round was a 10-8 round. I’m talking about round 4. He just got hit with every possible power shot and he ran, he wobbled. ”
Nevertheless, Woodley acknowledged that he should have adjusted his approach. Most of all, he agreed with critics who said he should have been a busier fighter and punched more; he averaged just over six landed punches per round and spent long stretches of the fight with his guns still firmly in their holsters.
That doesn’t mean Woodley thinks the right man won, though, and he revealed that he’s already received a slew of phone calls in the past day from boxing champions agreeing he’s been robbed of a jury decision that should have belonged to him.
“I spoke to Floyd” [Mayweather] a few other world champions last night,” Woodley said. “Riddick Bowe hit me today. Chris ‘Prime Time’ [Colbert] give me something. Andre War beat me up. Claressa [Shields] give me something. And everybody, they said, ‘Man, for someone who’s never boxed before and wants to cross our world, we want to give you props for fighting those damn eight rounds.’ Everyone believed I had won.
“They also agreed, as you said, I should have thrown a little more.”
Paul is still undecided on his next move. He told reporters at the press conference after Sunday night’s fight that he is not sure whether he will fight again in 2021 or who his next fight will be. Tommy Fury, the half brother of boxing champion Tyson Fury who defeated Paul’s sparring partner Anthony Taylor on Sunday’s undercard, is a name to be thrown around.
But Woodley has no doubt that he and Paul have unfinished business.
“Jake, don’t be mad, dog,” Woodley said. “Just finish the movie as it should be. This is a big scene in the movie, we’re halfway through the movie. Finish it the right way. Don’t fight no [Tommy] Fury. Nobody wants to see that fight.”