Tyron Woodley is the UFC welterweight champion, which means he’s very good at what he does. But Woodley knows something all great champions know: he could always be better.
Woodley, 34, recently enlisted the services of author and motivational speaker Eric Thomas, who has helped influence Woodley’s approach to fighting.
“He told me I need to use all five senses in my last fight,” Woodley said in studio on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “Don’t just go out there (and think), ‘I’m from Ferguson, and I’m going to be tough.’ Think about your wife. Maybe spray some of her perfume in your workout bag so you smell that. Think about your kids. Bring pictures with you. Have videos on your phone. Talk to them. When you use all your five senses – touch, feel, smell, sound – use all those senses and when you get in there, it’s going to make you a more cerebral fighter.”
Thomas gave Woodley some other good advice as well.
“He said take the time to look at your opponent and find the gaps, and when you find those gaps, exploit those gaps,” Woodley said. “You watched me in the first part of my fight against Robbie. I was looking for those gaps and I found it quick and then I got on it.”
Woodley beat Robbie Lawler for the belt at UFC 201 in July, notching a KO just over two minutes into the fight.
Woodley (16-3) is hoping for the same result against Stephen Thompson (20-0) at UFC 205 in November.
“I already saw Stephen’s gaps yesterday with the face-off,” Woodley said. “When I’m looking in your eyes, I’m looking in your soul and he’s scared. He’s going to fight me scared. He’s fought a lot of athletes scared. That’s what his distance and space creates. I can just see it. I told him earlier, I’m looking and I can tell you what kind of fight I’m going to be in. He was trying not to budge. He was trying not to blink. He was trying to stay still, but that cheek just started jumping. You can’t control it.”