A year ago, Tyron Woodley sat at a table across from me at a hotel in freezing Montreal.
One month prior, Woodley had made his UFC debut. It was an emphatic one. Woodley demolished the veteran fighter Jay Hieron, blitzing him in just 36 seconds and forcing referee Herb Dean to step in and save Hieron from further damage.
It was a career-defining moment for Woodley, who had developed something of a reputation in Strikeforce as a wrestling-first fighter. Which is to say, Woodley was boring. But those were the old days, and they were long gone. Gone, too, was Woodley's penchant for staying quiet. Taking a sip of water, Woodley told me he would no longer be the guy who was seen and not heard. Now, he intended to be seen AND heard.
Woodley lost his next fight to Jake Shields but rebounded by sending Josh Koscheck into at least a temporary retirement and putting Carlos Condit on the shelf with a leg injury. He has been vocal in his desires, calling for a title shot whenever a microphone is placed in front of him. His plan, calculated from the beginning, has worked. Mostly.