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Tyron Woodley: “I’m going into this fight with some steam.”

Tyron Woodley has his sights set on becoming a star in MMA. To do that, the former University of Missouri wrestling standout must stop rising star Jordan Mein Saturday night.

Despite being the less experienced fighter, Woodley understands that much of the pressure is squarely on his shoulders for the bout with Mein. Woodley is 9-0 in his young MMA career, while Mein sports a mark of 23-7.

“This fight is important and my mental game has to be there,” said Woodley in a recent interview on Strikeforce’s website. “This is a young kid that would like nothing more than to knock me off and take my place in line and possibly throw himself into title contention. I’m not gonna act like it wasn’t a test and wasn’t a trial, because it was, but I think at the end of the day I learned a lesson early and I think I’m going into this fight with some steam.”

Woodley recently opened a gym in Rock Hill, Missouri called ATT Evolution Gym. It has taken away from time he would normally have spent training himself for the Mein bout, but the businessman in Woodley understands how important this decision was.

“I think it’s a test of having to find balance,” Woodley said. “My gym’s not going anywhere, my family’s not going anywhere, and I’m sure as heck not going anywhere when it comes to MMA, so I’ve learned a real good lesson about delegation and believing in my staff and my team and separating myself when I have to.”

With a win, Woodley would likely position himself to compete for the vacant Strikeforce welterweight title later in 2012, as the title remains unclaimed since Nick Diaz left for the UFC.

Woodley-Mein will be part of the main card for Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine, which airs live on Showtime from Las Vegas.


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