After losing his title to Kamaru Usman at UFC 235 in March, Tyron Woodley went on to make some changes in his camp. In August, “The Chosen One” began training at the Tristar Gym in Montreal, alongside Firas Zahabi and Georges St-Pierre.
Zahabi recently spoke to MMA Junkie, telling the story of how he began working with the former champion.
“We worked out together at a UFC event,” Zahabi said. “We ended up training together. The first time was in Vegas, and we hit it off. We had a good time training with him and Duke (Roufus). We hit it off. We had a great time.
“Then we trained in Edmonton, and we hit it off again. We had a great chemistry forming, so we’re like, ‘Look, let’s keep it going.’”
After working together over the last few months, Zahabi promises a more versatile Tyron Woodley moving forward.
“When you’re champion for a long time, people are getting to know your style,” Zahabi said. “I think what happens is everyone is always watching the No. 1 guy, the champion, so they start figuring him out. Not as many people are watching the guy who is No. 10 or No. 15 or No. 4. They’re all watching the No. 1 guy. So the No. 1 guy has to keep reinventing himself.
“With Tyron, we’re going to try to add a new wrinkle that nobody knows so that, when he goes back in there, he’ll be at the same level, of course, but he’ll have new tricks in his bag, new surprises for his opponents,” he added. “Things that he’s comfortable doing that’ll work and they’re going to have to figure him out on fight night, not before fight night because he’s going to be having a new wrinkle, a new dimension to his game.”
Woodley has yet to book his next fight, but he says he wants a fight with with undefeated lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov to “see what it feels like.”