Former UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley has explained why he chose to begin his own series of fight camp vlogs on YouTube.
Woodley, who held 170-pound gold on MMA’s biggest stage between 2016 and 2019, has a successful online video series titled “Champ Camp.” The vlog-style videos cover Woodley’s pre-fight preparation, and though created during his time in the Octagon, “The Chosen One” uploaded editions for both of his 2021 boxing bouts with Jake Paul.
As it turns out, the idea for the series came from Woodley’s frustration and disdain for the UFC’s own pre-event series, the renowned Embedded vlogs.
Before each pay-per-view, the promotion posts six vlogs throughout fight week, including coverage of the athletes’ arrivals, weigh-ins, face-offs, and media duties. The videos regularly draw hundreds of thousands of views, with some notable episodes even attracting upwards of one million.
But for the fighters, Woodley doesn’t agree with how they are filmed and the content that is included.
During a recent appearance on The Residency Podcast, the former UFC champ suggested that the Embedded videos are designed to put across a fake reality of the fighters to the fans watching. Woodley also suggested that some content, such as pieces filmed during weight cuts, are too invasive.
“We get millions of views (on Champ Camp) because it’s lifestyle, it’s real sh*t. ‘I may have lost today, I may not have been having a good day, but this is how I move. This is what’s important to me.’ And it may not go side-to-side with an Embedded,” said Woodley. “That’s why I started it. Because they were — everybody had to be in a nice car, everybody had to be flipping a tire. That wasn’t really me.
“Then they only wanted to cover my most miserable moments. That cutting weight is a personal time. It’s times when I don’t think I’m gonna make weight. You don’t deserve to see that, the f*ck?” Woodley added.
While the UFC focuses on fight-week moments, such as the arduous task of weight-cutting, Woodley desired to show the more positive elements of his preparation, hence the creation of his own personal YouTube series.
“You wanna see me at my lows but you don’t wanna cover me when I’m getting awarded in St. Louis for being under 40 years old and a phenomenal businessman? Or being at my son’s wrestling match? They cut all that sh*t out,” said Woodley. “When I saw that, I brought my own guy in… we went viral.”
But judging by Woodley’s comments, not every fighter enjoys the presence of cameras during fight week.
What do you make of the UFC Embedded series?