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Tyron Woodley: Fighting First, Hollywood Second

If you go see Olympus Has Fallen this weekend, keep an eye out for Tyron Woodley. Amidst the explosions and gunfire and Morgan Freeman being Morgan Freeman, the UFC welterweight makes his acting debut as a Secret Service agent in the “bad guys have taken over the White House” action flick.And yes, that‘s also him as a sniper on the roof too.“I‘m Secret Service, so when you see those limos pulling up in the trailer, that‘s me standing there burning up in the Shreveport sun,” Woodley admitted, discussing his new side gig and potential post-fight career. “I‘m SWAT, so I come out of the White House blasting and get shot up again. I‘m a sniper, and I‘m also a DC cop, so when the trash trucks blow through those police cars, I‘m the one that‘s running trying not to get hit by the car. I got my little test of danger in this movie.“I die a lot,” he laughed, “but they had to have me die soon because I have a distinct face. I don‘t have any lines or anything, but they said, ‘Your face is so distinct and you‘ve got a couple close-ups, so if we use those clips, we can‘t have you get shot on the lawn when the explosion goes off and then be the guy on the roof 10 minutes later as a different person.‘”Woodley has been interested in testing the Hollywood waters for some time, but wanted to wait for the right time. The St. Louis, Missouri native came away from his UFC debut unscathed, having earned a knockout win over veteran Jay Hieron in just 36 seconds at UFC 156 in early February. In shape and with an opening in his calendar, “The Chosen One” saw the chance he was looking for, took it, and now he‘s caught the acting bug.“This was a perfect time: I just got off a fight, had some free time, and I had the opportunity to get in there and mix it up. Some friends of mine ”“ Arnold Chon, my speed and power training coach for a lot of the powerful, speed combinations that I used ”“ he‘s been a stunt guy for quite some time now. He got me involved with it, and also Lin Oeding, who introduced me to Yves Edwards in 2006.“These guys have been in the business for a long time, and I‘ve been bugging them for a long time to get me in there because I want to see if I like it or not. It was a great experience. I did that one. I had a chance to do another one here recently called Blunt Force, which is just a small film, but I had a chance to do that. That one I actually have one or two lines in, and Dan Henderson‘s in that one too, so that was cool that they brought in two MMA guys. I have a couple opportunities for two or three more here after my next fight too.”Rest assured, fight fans, the former Strikeforce standout isn‘t planning on hanging up his four-ounce gloves to make a permanent move to Tinsel Town.“I definitely want to focus on making it a post-fight career. It‘s easy to get out there, make a good weekly rate, have fun doing it, and have an opportunity to make some residuals afterwards, but for me, I think the people that are in the fight game have basically done that the wrong way – they‘ve made it a career too soon, and it kind of hurt their fighting.“I don‘t want to be one of those guys. I want to make sure I focus on achieving my goals, getting to a world title, and then from the point when I retire, it would definitely be something I was interested in.”With Olympus Has Fallen in theatres and Woodley having already enjoyed a small premiere with his friends and family at his American Top Team Evolution gym in Rock Hills, the 11-1 welterweight contender has his shifted his focus back to his current career, and his upcoming fight with Jake Shields at UFC 161.The pairing came together in the midst of the mad dash to fill the vacancy opposite Carlos Condit when Rory MacDonald was sidelined in advance of UFC 158.Rewind to the UFC 156 post-fight press conference, where Woodley informed UFC President Dana White (and the assembled media) that his passport was up-to-date, and should anyone get injured on the way to the welterweight showcase in Montreal, he‘d be ready to step up.When MacDonald was forced out, both Woodley and Shields started lobbying for the opportunity to replace him, but the UFC opted to elevate Johny Hendricks, and back-fill his place opposite Jake Ellenberger with Nate Marquardt. Even with the new line-up established, Woodley still pressed for a way to make it onto the card.“(Shields) was asking hard for Carlos Condit, and I thought, ‘Well if he‘s going to ask for Condit on March 16, and I was trying to fight Condit on March 16, we should fight.‘” explained the former University of Missouri wrestling standout. “I was really pushing for us to fight on March 16. If you‘re going to be in shape to fight Condit on that day, you should be in shape to fight me on that day, and I think it would have been better than the Mike Ricci fight.“The Mike Ricci fight, in my opinion, shouldn‘t have been on the pay-per-view,” he continued…

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