When opportunity knocks, Tyron Woodley rushes to meet it. So when Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos was forced to withdraw from a scheduled bout against Paul Daley due to injury, Woodley moved to take his place on just five weeks’ notice. Woodley will collide with Daley in a featured welterweight matchup at Strikeforce/M-1 Global “Fedor vs. Henderson” on
Saturday at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Ill.
Woodley boasts a perfect 8-0 record, with five wins by submission and another by technical knockout. He has pushed for a title shot for quite a while and originally thought the fight against Daley would be for the welterweight crown vacated by Nick Diaz, who left Strikeforce to prepare for a bout against Georges St. Pierre at UFC 137. Plans changed, and the match was then designated a title eliminator — with the winner left standing.
Woodley, who considers himself the top 170-pound fighter left in Strikeforce, seems unfazed.
“It’s water under the bridge,” he tells Sherdog.com. “After the fight, great things are going to happen, title included. Doors are going to open up for my family and me.”
The way that Woodley and Daley carry themselves can perhaps be best described as night and day. Daley has been vilified for punching Josh Koscheck after the bell at UFC 113 and for failing to make weight — which he has done on five occasions. Woodley comes across as a true professional in every sense of the word.
“I come to fight. I give it everything I can. I show up on time. I make weight,” he says. “It’s not just fighters; there are people watching, kids watching, families watching, people getting involved in this, and it’s important to believe in what you do. If you see me on the street, I should be the exact same person as I am inside the cage.