The UFC wants Tyron Woodley to headline the upcoming UFC 233 PPV opposite Colby Covington, but ‘T-Wood’ doesn’t seem to be playing ball.
The reigning welterweight champion is currently injured and probably won’t be able to make the walk to the Octagon on Jan. 26 but, according to former teammate turned rival Covington, the fight is still ‘on the table.’
“As far as I’m concerned, yeah it is on the table,” Covington told Luke Thomas on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour (h/t Alexander K. Lee of MMAFighting). “I would fight Tyron Woodley there, but I can’t speak the same for him. I know we don’t agree on a lot but we do agree on one thing: we are fighting each other next. He wants to punch me in the face, but that’s not gonna happen. These moves right here, he can’t punch me in the face, he’s not going to be able to touch me. That’s what it is.”
Given his relative inactivity as champion in the last year, Woodley has faced the wrath of Dana White, with the UFC president claiming that ‘The Chosen One’ ‘never wants to fight.’
Covington, who beat Rafael dos Anjos earlier this year to win the interim welterweight title, doubled down on the criticism and accused Woodley of ‘ducking’ fights and not being interested in defending his title.
“What’s going on at welterweight is the same thing that’s been going on for the last year or two,” Covington said. “I’ve been waiting for the UFC to send me a contract with Tyron Woodley’s name on it and he’s not signing the contract. He’s been kind of ducking and waiting. He’s trying to pick his spots. He’s trying to go to TMZ and still have that title as champion, so he’s just trying to get these cameos over in Hollywood. He doesn’t want to fight, he’s not here to make the welterweight division great again like myself. That’s what’s going on, I’m waiting for him. We’re fighting next, I don’t care what it is.”
Although it’s been reported that Covington was offered a number one contender’s bout against Kamaru Usman, the American Top Team product is adamant his next fight will be against Woodley.
“This fight has built itself the last two years — let me stop. I built this fight for the last two years. This fight sells itself, it’s the next fight, it doesn’t matter if me and Tyron Woodley fight in the UFC or we fight in a CVS, I’m fighting Tyron Woodley next,” Covington said.
“I’m waiting on Tyron,” Covington said. “He’s on borrowed time. He’s the only person I’m fighting. I’m young, the best years are ahead of me. He’s old, he’s at the end of his career. I’m just getting started. I’ve just barely begun this journey, so as long as it takes to fight Tyron Woodley, we have unfinished business.”
UFC 233, which is still without a main event, takes place next month, January 26 at Honda Center in Anaheim, California. The PPV will mark the UFC debut of Ben Askren, who is set to take on Robbie Lawler in the co-main event.