Tyron Woodley says Roufusport training camp made MMA ‘fun again’
Over the years, welterweight contender Tyron Woodley has become one of American Top Team’s very best fighters. Though "The Chosen One" still reps ATT, the St. Louis native chose a gym closer to home to conduct his training camp for this Saturday’s UFC 183.
For the past weeks, Woodley and his coaches and teammates Din Thomas and Yves Edwards have gotten work in Milwaukee’s Roufusport gym, home to the likes of UFC lightweight champ Anthony Pettis and Woodley’s college wrestlign teammate, former Olympian and current top welterweight Ben Askren. After nine years of MMA competition, Woodley said that training with Duke Roufus and his team helped make the sport fun for him, once again.
"One of the things I like most about Roufusport is, really, the culture. A lot of times you’re training in fight camps and running, and hitting mitts and sparring. Those things get old kind of quick. I like the fact that they allow fun into the room," he said.
"They allow creativity into the room. Everyone is allowed to be an individual. The sport MMA is evolving every week…it got my creative juices flowing. I enjoy being here, being safe. Being able to make it here to this fight without any injuries. Sometimes we’ve got to prove a point in training and I didn’t feel a need to do that here. I felt like I grew as a fighter, I felt like I grew as an individual, and once again, fighting became fun for me."
Indeed, during a recent trip to Roufusport’s team training, we saw Woodley work extra round after extra round with Pettis, well after the rest of the team was done with their workout. Woodley looks motivated and fresh heading into his fight against TUF winner Kelvin Gastelum this Saturday, in Las Vegas.
His coach, former UFC lightweight Thomas has been happy with the skill level and atmosphere at Roufusport, for his charge. "It was like being at recess at Harvard University," he joked.
Once again, fighting became fun for me
"Such high level martial arts, and everyone is having fun."
As for the gym’s head trainer, the former kickboxing champion Duke Roufus, he says that Woodley came to his gym ready and sharp. So, he didn’t want to overhaul the slugger, he simply wanted to help him build up certain areas of his game in order to help him get to the next level. "Tyron’s accomplishments stand out for themselves," he said.
"Our goal wasn’t to change him, but to enhance his skills as he looks to become UFC world champion."
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