Alright, the Bloody Elbow team has made its predictions for Jake Paul vs. Tyron Woodley whether you like it or not. Only Zane Simon is picking Jake Paul to beat the former UFC welterweight champion in Sunday’s PPV main event. David Castillo and Phil Mackenzie are doing a Toe to Toe for this so you can read their picks on Sunday morning, but I can tell you that they both went with Woodley.
As a reminder, this is a professional boxing match scheduled for eight-rounds. A winner will be declared unless we have some weird no contest ending, which we probably can’t rule out in a circus event like this one.
Jake Paul vs. Tyron Woodley
Anton Tabuena: It’s insane how so many went from thinking Askren would beat Jake Paul, to now wildly overcorrecting and having Tyron Woodley as a bigger underdog than his teammate — that never bothered to learn striking and came off hip surgery. In just a couple of months, people suddenly went from underrating Paul to severely overrating him. I guess many were impressed by the Askren KO, but that fight only confirmed what I thought. Jake Paul is like all those decent amateurs in the gym: good enough to destroy newbies, but can easily be read by most vets, because he still has too many bad habits that only go away with ring time. He has power and a puncher’s chance, but even 2021 Woodley shouldn’t be an underdog to anyone that still has those reactions and tendencies. Step into any gym, and you’ll instantly see how even those who may be done fighting top competition, can still easily look great against lower level opponents and training partners. Going from Luque — who Woodley still badly hurt before the loss — to Paul is a pretty huge leap down in competition. Based on even their most recent fights, there’s absolutely no reason Paul should be favored.
I expect Woodley to still be patient and just counter and capitalize whenever Paul overreaches. Paul has a decent right straight, but nothing much else that’s as dangerous at this point, so he needs to land big early and dictate how the fight goes from the get go. If not, he’ll likely just tense up a bit and pause just a little too long every time he gets hit, then quickly slow down when he starts to deal with adversity. Tyron Woodley by TKO.
Mookie Alexander: So full disclosure – I picked Jake Paul to beat Ben Askren, then changed to Askren for some reason I don’t understand, then went back to Paul when Ben was showing up in Pillsbury Dough Boy shape. You want to know what’s “fun” about this matchup? I’m not sure MMA fans have ever in their lifetimes gotten behind Tyron Woodley this much. His title reign was unpopular to put it kindly and his decline has been sad to watch. But even though I think a lot of his boxing is predicated on the fear of his takedowns, by merely having knockdowns and knockout wins against elite opposition he is 1000x the striker than anyone else Jake Paul has ever fought. Don’t get me wrong: Jake can box, at least at a rudimentary level, and his power seems legit. He also seems to take this seriously and I can respect that.
Paul is already better than many club-level boxers who don’t make it to TV. But he’s still only for three pro rounds of boxing under his belt and there’s been nary a lick of trouble. We don’t know how Woodley looks in a strictly boxing environment and he’ll be the smaller man in the ring, but he’s not in sub-par physical shape like Askren and still has some level of offensive speed such that he had Vicente Luque rocked before getting rocked himself. We should know a bit more about Paul’s chin, his recuperative abilities, and perhaps his gas tank if this goes beyond a couple of rounds. I have put way too much thought into this and I’m ashamed to have even done that. So I’m going to pick Tyron because Paul’s team went after Mama Woodley and there has to be some justice carried out. Tyron Woodley by TKO, round 4.
Zane Simon: I guess I’ll kind of make this a reiteration of my Ben Askren pick… where I admittedly expected Askren to do much better than he did, while still clearly and easily losing the fight. There is, unquestionably, a much much better shot that Tyron Woodley wins this bout. He’s an unquestionably better striker than Askren by miles. But, and I hate saying this, Jake Paul isn’t Logan Paul. He’s not actually an awful boxer. He’s okay. Maybe just okay, but okay. And Tyron Woodley’s career isn’t just marked by big power punching, it’s also marked by dreadful inactivity for the fear of gassing out. Is he really going to be a more active, more consistent performer in a sport he’s never even attempted before? Is he going to be more comfortable and more competent somehow? Or is he going to be more afraid of humiliation than ever? My guess is he’ll have a pretty great start. Maybe even hurt Paul, maybe even win the first round. But I’m more willing to bank on both men getting really tired, and the whole thing turning into an ugly slog that Jake Paul is slightly better prepared to win, just because he’s done boxing before. Jake Paul by decision.
Staff picking Paul: Zane
Staff picking Woodley: Stephie, Anton, Mookie, Dayne, David, Phil
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