Tyron Woodley doesn’t believe mixed martial arts (MMA) fans appreciate the ground game.
“The Chosen One” will defend his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight title against Demian Maia inside the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. The title bout will be the co-main event of UFC 214 this Saturday night (July 29).
Megan Olivi sat down with Woodley, who expressed confidence in avoiding danger if the fight goes to the ground:
“I think I’m equipped with the skills and the knowledge to neutralize him to escape and get back to my feet if I need to. To be patient in areas where he’s gonna be dominant and also to stalemate and then scramble. It would be silly for me to say, ‘okay I’m a brown belt in jiu-jitsu I’ll show him that I can outgrapple him.'”
The 170-pound champion then expressed his opinion on what he feels is a lack of appreciation from fans when it comes to the ground game.
“I think for my legacy, it’s a big step but I think the fans don’t respect jiu-jitsu in our sport. It’s not me, I’m not discrediting Demian Maia at all. What I’m saying is that, our fans wanna watch these high-paced, back-and-forth, bloody, gory, punching, striking, kicking exchanges. That’s what they envision a good MMA fight being. They don’t appreciate the wrestling, the ground-and-pound. They don’t appreciate the jiu-jitsu or the exchanges and sweeps.”