Tyron Woodley Addresses Rumors He Took a Dive vs. Jake Paul in Rematch

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 20, 2022

Jake Paul, left, looks back after knocking out Tyron Woodley during the sixth round of a Cruiserweight fight Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
AP Photo/Chris O'Meara

Former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley strongly denied he took a dive in his boxing rematch with YouTube star Jake Paul in December.

Woodley told MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour podcast Paul delivered a legitimate knockout shot that sent him to the canvas in the sixth round:

ESPN Ringside @ESPNRingside

Tyron Woodley addressed the rumors that the Paul fight was rigged ๐Ÿ‘€ <a href="https://t.co/Hp7sAi5vqr">pic.twitter.com/Hp7sAi5vqr</a>

Unsubstantiated rumors emerged after the bout that Paul gave Woodley a hand signal shortly before delivering the knockout punch, which led some observers to believe the fight was rigged.

Din Thomas, Woodley's coach, immediately shot down that suggestion last month during an appearance on MMA on SiriusXM (h/t Dan Cancian of the Daily Mail):

"That whole theory [of the fight being rigged], it makes me laugh because being in his camp, I know how serious it was. It was serious like Tyron really wanted this win back, he really wanted this fight and it was a serious thing.
"Now, if it was a dive, I wish they told me about it because I wouldn't have shown up and taken the night off. I'd be like partying but that wasn't the case.
"I mean it was a real, legit fight."

Woodley lost the first meeting with Paul in August by split decision. He took the rematch on short notice after Tommy Fury withdrew from the event.

"This is as real as it f--king gets, just like my right hand," Paul told reporters after the knockout.

The YouTuber now owns a 5-0 career record after the back-to-back wins over the longtime MMA fighter. He's yet to face a classically trained boxer, however, with his other victories coming against former MMA fighter Ben Askren, former NBA player Nate Robinson and fellow YouTube content creator Ali "AnEsonGib" Al-Fakhri.

His success has still led to a major financial windfall, with his three fights in 2021 generating $40 million in income, per Brett Knight of Forbes.

Simply put, Paul's events have become too prominent, both from a revenue perspective and a betting perspective, to consider rigging them.