TYRON WOODLEY is under immense ‘pressure’ to win his professional boxing debut against Jake Paul, former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping believes.
The future UFC Hall-of-Famer will lock horns with the YouTuber turned boxer early on Monday morning in Cleveland, Ohio.
Woodley, 39, enters his maiden boxing match with the weight of the MMA world on his shoulders following four consecutive losses and his good friend Ben Askren’s KO defeat to The Problem Child.
But Bisping likes what he’s seen of the Missouri mauler’s preparations for the bout, telling SunSport: “He does look motivated. But I think that’s because he’s feeling the pressure.
“Of course, he had a great career as champion and in the UFC he was a phenomenal fighter.
“I would assume he’ll be in the Hall-of-Fame one day, but he’s lost his last four.
“I did see some interviews a while ago; he fell into the trap that a lot of fighters do, a lot of athletes do, with overspending money and things like that.
“I’m not sure of his financial situation, I’m sure he’s okay. But this is all he knows.
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“And he’s probably training like a madman because he’s feeling the pressure.
“And there’s a little bit of assumption on my end because I don’t know his financial situation.
“But I don’t think it’s a wild theory to have. He’s even spoken about this himself.
“So he needs this. He needs to be successful. So, therefore, he’s pushing himself accordingly.
“But with all of that, that brings a lot of pressure.”
In his final forays into the octagon, Woodley looked a shell of the man who struck fear into the hearts of the UFC’s 170-pounder during his championship reign.
But with the eyes of the entire combat sports world firmly fixed on him, Bisping expects to see The Chosen One return to his old gunslinging ways.
The Count said: “Now as we all know, pressure, it can form diamonds.
“F**king the most cliche thing ever. But you know what I’m saying.
“He could go out there and rise to the challenge and put on the performance of a lifetime.
“He might leave Jake Paul flat out, face down on the canvas.
“Or it might make him freeze, you know? I don’t think it will, I think we’re gonna see him [perform].
“Because in the Vicente Luque fight, he went out there and I think he felt the pressure and he started off hard.
“But that was part of his demise. He came out too fast, too hot.”
Lucrative payday aside, Woodley is in somewhat of a lose-lose situation as she should beat combat novice Paul.
And although Woodley is the underdog against the 3-0 Paul, Bisping reckons the expectation of victory will weigh heavy on the MMA vet.
He said: “It is a tough spot for Tyron Woodley. Because think about it, again: Tyron Woodley the former champion.
“He used to proclaim to be one of the greatest of all time. Certainly one of the best welterweight champions that we did have, to be fair.
“He should, on paper, beat this guy. So that again brings pressure. There’s so much pressure for Tyron.
“”And on the flipside for Jake Paul, it’s just like, ‘Well, I’m supposed to lose.”
BT Sport Box Office will show Jake Paul v Tyron Woodley exclusively live on Sunday 29th August. Watch all the action from an exciting card that also features Daniel Dubois and Tommy Fury from 00:30. To find out more, visit www.bt.com/sportboxoffice
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