Former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley admitted it was tough to deal with his title loss to Kamaru Usman in March 2019.
"I went into a state of depression for a while," Woodley said Thursday at UFC Fight Night media day, according to MMA Junkie's Danny Segura. "I really wasn't talking to many people, I was eating terrible, I wasn't training."
Woodley is scheduled to meet Gilbert Burns in Saturday's main event in Las Vegas. It will be the first time he's stepped into the cage since the one-sided fight against Usman.
The 38-year-old captured the UFC belt in July 2016 and held on to it for nearly three years, defending it four times. Woodley had already suffered three losses earlier in his career, but he said the Usman defeat impacted him the most because he'd been so dominant leading up to it.
"I felt like all my competition before Kamaru Usman was my stiffest competition," Woodley said.
He added, "I didn't think it was going to be cruise control at that point, but I felt like I had those five rounds mapped out so well. I felt like my strategy, my game plan, my studying, my coaches, my team, I felt like I had everything in position to win."
Fifteen months later, Woodley believes the loss has made him a "better person."
"I felt like it was necessary for my journey," he said.