It’s always nice to be on a road trip amongst a bunch of unfamiliar and possibly adversarial fighters and run into someone you haven’t seen in awhile. This morning as i was making my way down to breakfast alone i ran into Tyron Woodley. Many of you may know him as one of the best up and coming welterweights in MMA today, i know him as a guy I’ve grown up wrestling with. Some history….Tyron and I first met, I’d guess, around 1997 or 98. Me being from Kansas City and him from St Louis we say each other frequently at a lot of wrestling tournaments. I can still remember the wars between him and one of my best friends in high school (who later wrestled at Northern Iowa) on the wrestling mat. From high school I went to STLCC at Meramec and later, to the University of Nebraska. Tyron ended up at the University of Missouri where he would, again, participate in some classic matches with another close friend of mine. Later he would end up a 3 time all American for the University of Missouri.
It’s funny to me how we ended up at breakfast this morning, talking about everything from our kids to MMA organizations. It occurred to me that him and i have taken a somewhat similar path to this place. From wrestling to MMA. I’ve always thought very highly of Tyron and it was gratifying to know that he thinks the same of me. I realized, sitting with him this morning, that we are in similar spots in our career, both trying to take care of our families and make ourselves a name while doing what we love. And then i realized that one day, i may stand across the cage from Tyron. When and if that day comes, i know I’ll probably be in for one of the toughest fights of my life. But for now, it’s just good to share the spotlight and catch up with an old friend.
Dustin James says
Tyron Woodley is a stud. I’d definitely be down for a fight between you two…
I think that’s probably one of the toughest things in mma (or really any combat sport), fighting against someone you think of as a friend. But I also think the respect that fighters have for each other is one of the best aspects of the sport, at least for this spectator.
Nice post Jason. And congragulations on your UFC deal.