UFC Champion Tyron Woodley Discusses ‘The Favorite’ & Moving Past Stephen Thompson (Exclusive)

Tyron Woodley Din Thomas
Image Credit: Getty Images

Tyron Woodley certainly has his hands full these days.

The reigning Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight title holder is coming off a successful defense against Stephen Thompson in a rematch at UFC 209 earlier this month. “The Chosen One” bested “Wonderboy” in the majority decision victory.

Now, Woodley is focused on a bit of acting. The 170-pound champion took the time to speak with MMANews.com. He went in-depth on “The Favorite,” a movie he is currently on set for:

“I’m filming a movie called ‘The Favorite.’ It’s loosely based on a true story (about) a young guy that was in a tragic car accident and recovered and is on the way to get as close to normal as he could. He decided to write a movie because MMA is so hot and so popular. A lot of the life lessons you learn in MMA, discipline, respect, honor, going through adversity were the perfect parallel to match it up. I’m playing the old coach.”

As excited as Woodley is to be a part of the movie, he realizes his responsibilities as a champion. He said he doesn’t want to put all of his time and energy into acting.

“Obviously I don’t want to focus primarily on it just because I have world titles to defend. I fought, two days later I was on the set of this movie. Those are perfect opportunities and times for me, in-between fights where I necessarily wouldn’t be training and getting ready for a fight. But I can go over to the entertainment (business) and do a couple of movies here and there. So I’ve got this movie, two of the other movies and then after that I’m looking for a fight.”

For “The Chosen One,” the verbal exchanges between himself and Thompson leading up to their rematch were never a sign of disrespect. Woodley said there was never any bad blood between them.

“Well there was never animosity in the situation. It’s just the spectacle and what people think and what the MMA fans have in their mind what happened. They don’t have the details or facts, so it was more frustration with that. I never really had frustrations with ‘Wonderboy.’ I always respected him as a fighter, he’s respected me as a fighter. You can’t deny what we’ve done. We’ve done some pretty amazing things in the Octagon, you gotta respect that.”

As far as Woodley’s next challenger goes, many feel the winner of Jorge Masvidal vs. Demian Maia will be deserving of a welterweight title opportunity. Woodley said he knows number one contenders don’t always get their shot immediately anymore and he’d like to face someone who will elevate his career.

“There’s no such thing as the next guy in line now. Everybody’s fighting all over the place, different weight classes, super fights, guys coming out of retirement getting title shots, Holly Holm’s lost three fights in a row and she got a title shot. People that are deserving are getting passed over. Whatever is a good opportunity for me and my career, I’ll take that.”

You can listen to our full interview with Woodley below:

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