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Chris Oth | Knuckle Junkies

Twood Keeps on Truckin'

By Brett Auten | Knuckle Junkies

Since suffering the first loss of his mixed martial arts career, Tyron Woodley has had time to reflect, move on, and get back into the swing of things.

Woodley would like to return to the cage this fall. Strikeforce has an event slated for November in Oklahoma City. There are not a ton of choices when it comes to opponents for Woodley, but a name that does register is Kazuo Misaki.

"I think with one more win or two, I can be right back in the title picture," Woodley said.

In July, Woodley lost to Nate Marquardt for the then-vacant Strikeforce welterweight strap. The loss was brutal both physically and mentally.

"It feels like he is wearing my belt," Woodley said.

The fight with Marquardt showed the fickle MMA community that there is more to Twood than his patented wrestling. He and Marquardt traded leather in epic fashion with Marquardt sealing the victory with a spectacular flurry in the fourth round.

Instead of Woodley being bounced down to the bottom rung of the welterweight ladder, the loss actually benefitted him.

"I feel that my stock increased," Woodley said. "I had 1,000 new followers on Twitter the first 48 hours after the fight. It let the fans know that I'm not just going to play it safe. I can stand and bang. We were both on the canvas that night."

That night in Portland against Marquardt proved Twood's mettle.

"It was the way that I fought that resulted in me getting more respect," he said. "Now if I can do that with a win. I learned I can dig deep. I lost in a world title situation."

He also learned that he can live with a loss. Something he wasn't too sure about even a year or so ago.

"I don't care anymore," Woodley said. "I no longer carry that weight of being undefeated. I didn't even realize it was there until it was gone."

Woodley has been keeping busy with several endeavors that are all part of his exit strategy away from the fight game, including his fighter management company, Team Evo Management.

Woodley also got a taste of the Hollywood life when we worked on the film, ‘Olympus has Fallen' an upcoming Gerard Butler vehicle that stars a slew of big names including: Aaron Eckhart, Melissa Leo, Ashley Judd, and Dylan McDermott.

"I play a lot of parts," Woodley said. "I die a lot."

Woodley has now shifted attention back to ATT Evolution, his gym in Rock Hill.

"Now it's time to get back to work," he said

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