Tyron Woodley really doesn’t like where the sport of mixed martial arts is headed these days.
According to the reigning UFC welterweight champion, he misses when MMA was still a sport more than entertainment and fighters were judged based on performances inside the cage rather than outlandish acts on the outside.
It’s part of the reason why Woodley admits that he doesn’t actually enjoy fighting all that much but it has nothing to do with training or the actual battles he endures when he’s competing.
Instead, Woodley points to all the outside factors that have started to play a part in the sport more and more these days where fighters are talking themselves into fights rather than earning it based on accomplishments.
“I don’t even really like fighting to be honest. I’m just good at it,” Woodley told Joe Rogan on his podcast on Thursday.
“I don’t like the politics behind it. I don’t like the martial arts aspect has been taken away from it. I don’t like the disrespect to the sport. Guys that aren’t really training hard. They don’t look the part. I think professional athletes should look a certain way. I really don’t like the youth, this generation of fighters that watch a move on TV, on YouTube and they go and want to do it. They don’t want to drill repetitions, they don’t want to actually put in the work.”
Of course how other fighters are behaving doesn’t necessarily impact Woodley directly but he points out how it does hit his bottom line when it comes to the opponents he faces and how matchups in the UFC are determined these days.
Woodley prefers a merit based system where the best of the best are the ones rising to the top of the sport but instead the loudest fighters in any given room seem to get the most attention these days.
“It affects me because our sport is also the fans and the fans actually the culture who gets the fight. If a guy’s going to talk enough s–t and start wearing fly suits then in this day and age, that’s good enough for a title shot,” Woodley said. “I think that’s disrespectful to everybody that came before.
“Remember you had to go 10-0 and then you get the f–king call from the UFC? If Conor [McGregor] wants Artem Lobov in the UFC and a .500 record, he’s going to be in the UFC. It’s ways that the sport has taken the love out of it.”
Woodley does give credit to McGregor for backing up all the crazy things he says by performing whenever he competes inside the Octagon but the Irish superstar is an anomaly when it comes to outspoken fighters who also back up every word.
Still the overall trend with matchups being made in the UFC based on trash talk rather than who has actually earned an opportunity will always rub Woodley the wrong way.
“I love training,” Woodey said about his own career. “I don’t like what the sport has become.”