Jake Paul, the YouTube star and social media influencer known for his controversial online antics, defeated Tyron Woodley in a split decision at UFC 228 on Saturday night.
Tyron Woodley was defeated by Jake Paul in a split decision in the Cruiserweight Fight on December 22nd, 2018.
CLEVELAND, Ohio — Those expecting Jake Paul to be knocked out by a big puncher in the ring would be severely disappointed.
The YouTube sensation-turned-prizefighter won a split decision against Tyron Woodley in the main event of a boxing card at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on Sunday night (77-75, 75-77, 78-74) in the main event of a boxing card.
Woodley is a former UFC welterweight champion with an MMA resume that includes many highlight-reel knockouts. Woodley wobbled Paul in the fourth round with a powerful right hand, but Paul was able to survive the round and go on to defeat Woodley for the remainder of the fight.
Paul and Woodley agreed to a rematch if Woodley got a “I love Jake Paul” tattoo after the bout.
“Unlike his previous opponents, I didn’t fall to the ground,” Woodley said. “I took him down the hall and handed it back to him. Let’s go through it again.”
Paul has been a divisive character, attempting to leverage his millions of social media following into a genuine boxing career. With 27 professional MMA bouts under his belt during a 12-year career, Woodley entered as the more experienced combat sports athlete. At the University of Missouri, he was a two-time Division I wrestling All-American.
Woodley, on the other hand, was making his pro boxing debut. The fight was fought at a catchweight of 190 pounds, which was the highest weight Woodley had ever fought at in his combat sports career.
On Sunday, Paul (4-0) faced the most difficult test of his fledgling boxing career. The Cleveland native knocked out former UFC fighter, MMA champion, and Olympic wrestler Ben Askren in the opening round of his last battle.
“I didn’t give it my all tonight,” Paul said. “I’m going to award myself a C-minus. Since my first amateur bout, this is my first time fighting in front of an audience.”
With his second-round knockout of former NBA slam dunk champion Nate Robinson on the Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. exhibition undercard in November 2023, Paul, 24, became one of the drivers of this new, novelty genre of boxing. Paul has said that he intends to be the greatest name in boxing, and he has flipped combat sports on its head, headlining high-profile events while having a fraction of his colleagues’ experience.
He has a huge following among the younger generation, who have followed him on Vine, YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram since he was 17 years old. He also appeared in “Bizaardvark,” a Disney Channel program.
Woodley, 39, has lost his previous four UFC bouts, and his contract was up in March when he was defeated by Vicente Luque in the first round at UFC 260. He is one of the greatest welterweight fighters in MMA history, having defended his title four times as the UFC’s 170-pound champion from 2016 to 2019. In March 2019, Kamaru Usman beat Woodley to claim the UFC title.
“He’s a formidable foe,” Paul remarked. “He’s been boxing — or hitting, as the case may be — for years. This is something I’ve been doing for three years.
“It was a harder battle than I had anticipated.”
Woodley, a native of Ferguson, Missouri, fought for Askren against Paul. A verbal spat between Woodley and Paul’s crew in the room where Paul was having his hands wrapped the night before the fight helped set up this meeting.
This week brought more antics. Things became heated during Woodley’s prefight press conference on Thursday when he accused a member of Paul’s camp of talking trash to his mother. Woodley attempted to reach his mother across a packed hotel ballroom, exchanging angry, expletive-laced remarks with Paul team members while being held back — all as Paul cheered him on.
Only when Woodley, his family, and his staff were removed from the room did things calm down.
Things had bubbled over once again. Saturday at the KeyBank State Theatre’s public weigh-ins. Following the final staredown, Paul was interviewed on stage while eating chicken fingers. Paul snatched the packs of wet wipes out of Woodley’s hands when he went over and reached out to offer them to him. In an attempt to repeat his May “gotcha hat” act with Floyd Mayweather, he pushed Woodley aside and attempted to grab for Woodley’s hat.
Before things settled down, Woodley walked away, and there was some pushing and shoving on stage.