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Erosa, at 22-9, may be Woodson’s most experienced foe when it comes to pro MMA, but when you mix his early start with his talent, it levels the playing field a bit. For proof, look at the fight with Bochniak, which took place in his opponent’s hometown of Boston on a high-profile ESPN card. Woodson was like a seasoned veteran in his UFC debut, and the proof was in the shutout decision he scored over “Crash.”

First-time UFC jitters? Not here.

“No such thing,” said Woodson of the nerves that have ruined the debuts of more than a few fighters over the years. “I think guys just use that as an excuse in case they don’t perform well or don’t fight how they should.” 

That’s not to say the idea of getting taken down by the moment didn’t cross his mind, but as soon as it was time to make the walk, he was all good.

“Leading up to it, I thought it might be a possibility that I make this walk and the lights and the whole big event might get to me,” he said. “But the moment I started walking, I was just so happy and relieved that that wasn’t the case. I felt right at home and I was comfortable and wasn’t nervous at all. It’s probably the least nervous I’ve even been for a fight, to be honest. Going into all my other fights, you kind of get the nerves that if you do lose this fight that it will set you back and postpone your trip to the big show. But once I got to the big stage, I felt right at home.”


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