Former welterweight world champion Tyron Woodley will have his hands full against Brazilian Gilbert Burns in the headline act of the UFC’s return to Las Vegas on Sunday (NZ time).

But over the last few weeks, it’s been his ongoing duel with Kiwi City Kickboxing teammates Israel Adesanya and Dan Hooker that’s kept his name in the social media lights.

Last month, ‘The Chosen One’ revealed his plans to move up to middleweight, with his sights set on eventually taking on champion Adesanya.

“I want to go up there and see what Izzy [Adesanya] is about,” Woodley said on Instagram live. “I don’t think he’s as dope as everybody is saying.”

Adesanya quickly bit back, tweeting: “Woodley can’t even deal with one Nigerian Nightmare Kamaru Usman when he was at 30%”, referring to Woodley’s shutout loss to Adesanya’s friend and fellow Nigerian, Kumaru Usman.

UFC lightweight contender Hooker added more fuel to the fire, taking a shot at Woodley’s widely-derided venture into hip-hop.

“You should get into comedy champ, it can’t go worse than your rap career,” Hooker tweeted. 

That prompted Woodley to suggest Adesanya was Hooker’s pimp, telling him to “Stay out of grown folk biz you lil prostitute.”

Woodley now insists both fighters took his barbs to heart and that he was merely prodding the metaphorical bear.

“They took it a little personal,” Woodley tells Newshub. 

“People don’t know a lot about me. I’ve got a side of me that’s all just laughs and jokes, poking fun and things like this  I’m down for that. 

“So, anytime somebody wants to come at me like that, I’m open to it.”

Furthermore, he’s confident he had his hand raised in their online tête-à-tête.

“I don’t think those guys were prepared for it and I think they lost the jawing battle.”

While admitting it’s all a “bit of banter”, Hooker gives a much different version of events.

“[Woodley] is a bit dim-witted to get the best of me and Izzy [Adesanya] and the City Kickboxing boys,” he tells Newshub. “We do keep each other quite sharp in that aspect in the gym. 

“I think he’s five or ten steps behind the rest of us.”

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