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‘He was doing an act’ - Woodley explains why he was ‘hurt’ more by loss to Covington

Former UFC champion Tyron Woodley spoke candidly about how his loss to Colby Covington had affected him deeply.

There was a lot of bad blood between Colby Covington and Tyron Woodley as they entered their Fight Night headliner in September. The trash-talking spilled over after the fight through Covington’s controversial comments about the Black Lives Matter movement.

In a recent interview with TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter, the former UFC welterweight champion candidly spoke about how he was “hurt” by the loss.

“He wasn’t really disrespecting me. He was doing an act. I know about the act,” he said. “I even talked to him about it, I told him there’s a different way to do it and that he looked stupid and silly. But if that’s what he wants to do, go ahead and do it.

“He was like, ‘Man, I’m just trying to get money and I’m just trying to build this up. We can make money at the end.’

“It hurt to lose to him just because he was willing to use an act to stir up some negative controversy with some things that were very sensitive, whether it was Brazilians, whether it was the political debate, whatever he was doing.

“It was all a game, and I think certainly you shouldn’t play with. And just for someone that I used to pay as a training partner that had never even thought about winning a second against me in any training format, ever in life.”

For Woodley, a victory over Covington would’ve been a strong statement.

“To lose to a guy like that when I had the chance to go out there and beat him sends a strong message to the division, sends a strong message to America that we should stand together,” he said. “And also just… to kind of silence him a little bit. It kinda hurt more for those things than anything else.

“But looking back, I never lost the opportunity to still reach out to those people and send a positive message. In victory or defeat, it’s still the platform.”

“The Chosen One” is looking to bounce back from a three-fight skid when he co-headlines UFC 260 against Vicente Luque this Saturday.