Tyron Woodley said he can sympathize with a tough weight cut. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Tyron Woodley was understandably frustrated when he learned that Kelvin Gastelum was going to come in 10 pounds heavy for their co-main event bout at UFC 183.
After all, the muscular Strikeforce veteran has had his share of struggles getting down to the welterweight limit in the past. This time, however, his cut was as smooth as can be, which only made Gastelum’s plight upset him even more.
“When they told me originally I was pissed off,” Woodley said at Saturday’s post-fight press conference. “I said some words Dana and a million other people probably never heard me say. I’m pretty quiet.
“It’s tough going through a training camp. I change a lot of things in my life, my diet -- I’m not a small welterweight myself,” he continued. “I’m a big guy for the welterweight division. For me to be able to monitor that, make those lifestyle changes and take it as a professional, I was just kind of a little annoyed and lot of it had to do with weight cutting.”
By the time he handed Gastelum the first defeat of his pro career, Woodley’s sentiments had softened. For missing weight, Gastelum was supposed to forfeit 30 percent of his purse to his opponent. However, in a generous change of heart, “The Chosen One” has elected to return those lost wages to the man he defeated.
“The kid lost. It was his first loss. He’s not going to get his win bonus. Dana White’s probably yelled at him. His coaches probably yelled at him. He’s probably pissed off at himself. I just can’t find it in my heart to do that right now,” Woodley said. “I got the win, I had a good performance and I feel good about it.”
For a time, it appeared that Woodley might not get to compete at all. When Gastelum’s weight cut went south, he was hospitalized, and according to White, it wasn’t decided until Saturday morning that the bout would take place as planned.
“I didn’t know if he passed out or not, but he was definitely having a hard cut. They took him to the hospital. He was definitely in a bad way [Friday],” White said. “Even after Tyron said he’d accept the fight with him 10 pounds over, we didn’t know if Gastelum was gonna fight last night. We didn’t know till today. They let him get some fluids, rest, sleep. He woke up today, they re-evaluated him and said he was OK to fight. When I talked to him tonight, he was a completely different person than he was yesterday.”
Although he may have recovered, Gastelum did not do enough to get the win. And even if he had, White has already indicated that “The Ultimate Fighter 17” winner’s next destination is the middleweight division. The UFC boss credits Woodley for making sure UFC 183 didn’t lose one of its featured contests.
“He has to make a decision whether he wants to fight a kid that weighs 10 pounds more than him the day of the weigh-in,” White explained. “Everything’s on the line. That’s one of these tough things where these guys come in, and they have to pull the trigger.”