It’s what you expect, or at least want, to hear from a fighter coming back from an extended stay on the sidelines, but as Woodson explains it, this isn’t just an opportunity to get paychecks fired up again, but it’s the idea that he’s doing something not many can, giving him the opportunity to actually live a life on the road less traveled.

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“I definitely take pride in that, and that comes along with it,” he said. “I know as miserable as I might be during a weight cut, nothing comes easy and anything great in life, it’s difficult and it comes with adversity that you’ve gotta tough through. But that’s what makes it all worth it, knowing that I’m creating memories and doing something that only a percentage of people will attempt to do, and I’m not just existing. I’m trying to live and accomplish things and make my dreams come true. So the fact that I’m creating memories that I’ll be able to talk about with my family for years to come and show old footage and tell stories to my kids, it makes it more worthwhile.”

It’s a mature outlook from the 28-year-old St. Louis native, something he credits to having older parents.

“I was raised old school,” he said. “I played my fair share of video games, but if I could have my way, I was always outside playing and I’m just really big on ‘you only live once.’ Life’s short, and I’m just trying to soak up every day and make the best of it and not take anything for granted. I feel like a lot of people are just surviving and doing the bare minimum just to get by instead of trying to thrive and live life and take advantage of all the beautiful and real fun things in life. The things that make me the most happy in life aren’t the things that money can’t buy; it’s appreciating the little things.”