Last weekend, on the main card of the UFC’s latest trip to Singapore, rising welterweight Colby Covington scored a career-best win over established contender Dong Hyun Kim. Shortly after this win, Covington made several callouts of his former training partner Tyron Woodley, who now wears the UFC welterweight title.
On the latest episode of BJ Penn Radio, Covington elaborated on his comments about Woodley, and why he’d be so confident against the champ.
“He’s a bigger dude, and he’s got a lot of muscles on his body, so he doesn’t have cardio,” he said. “I’ll break that dude. That’s what I said, I’ll break that dude mentally. He won’t be able to keep up with my pace. I felt that in the gym and I’m supremely confident that if I fight Tyron Woodley I’ll get my hand raised. And new.”
While Covington is not particularly impressed by Woodley, he does believe the champ probably has what it takes to fend off his next challenger, BJJ specialist Demian Maia.
“[Woodley] has good enough takedown defense to stop the takedown,” he said. “Maia is one dimensional. He doesn’t know how to strike or stay on the feet, so I think [Woodley] should be able to get it done. But if Maia gets it to the mat [Woodley’s] jiu jitsu is not that good. I tapped him out in training, so I don’t feel very confident that he’ll be able to fend off Maia’s submission attempts if it hits the mat. But you know, he should be able to hit him and score and move, but it’s an interesting matchup. So we’ll see how that style plays out.”
Covington then discussed which of the two top welterweights he’d rather fight.
“I think both are easy money for me, to be honest,” he said. “Woodley can’t go this pace, he’ll break, and Maia, I’ll fend off his takedowns and put that dude out cold on the feet. Either one, that’s how confident I am right now. I feel like I’m the most well-rounded fighter and guys just can’t do what I can do. So there’s not a bad matchup for me in the top-5.”
Do you think Colby Covington will capture welterweight gold?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/22/2017.