Tyron Woodley made a statement Saturday night for everyone who has called him boring.
The UFC welterweight champion had perhaps his greatest performance to date in the main event of UFC 228, overwhelming Darren Till and finishing him with a D’Arce choke. The time of the stoppage at American Airlines Center in Dallas was 4:19 of the second round.
“There’s a lot of people who are hating against me,” Woodley said. “But there are a lot who are with me.”
Woodley, who is known for fighting in a methodical style, surprised the crowd by coming out agressive, immediately closing the distance, throwing punches, and shooting for takedowns. Woodley initiated the clinch to neutralize his taller foe, but twice over the course of the round, referee Dan Miragliotta made curious decisions to order restarts when both fighters were plainly working.
In the second round, though, Woodley wasn’t about to let the referee break things up. He dropped a charging Till with a perfectly placed right hand to the face, then began to unload a hellacious series of punches and elbows from top position.
Just as it appeared Woodley was starting to slow, he made his transition, expertly securing the D’Arce and forcing the Englishman to tap for his first career defeat. After securing his sixth career submission win, Woodley was awarded his black belt by his cornermen.
The win came after a 14-month layoff for Woodley (19-3-1), who was out in part due to shoulder surgery. He’s now 6-0-1 in his past seven. He says he has no one in particular in mind for his next fight.
“It’s kind of tough to say,” Woodley said. “Anytime I say I want to fight a certain person I don’t get the response I want, so I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing. Whoever they put i front of me, I’m going to beat him up.”
Till manned up to his loss and didn’t offer an excuses.
“Tyron was the better man,” said Till (17-1-1), who is now 5-1-1 in the UFC. “Sh*t happens.”