Welterweight is absolutely insane right now, with Tyron Woodley as the undisputed king and Colby Covington causing chaos at every turn. Former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos upset former welterweight belt holder Robbie Lawler, supposedly earning a title shot. However, that’s not the direction the UFC is going in according to Chael Sonnen. It looks like the report of Woodley possibly coaching the newest season of The Ultimate Fighter along with Covington is still going around, giving Covington the shot he’s rallied for relentlessly.
“RDA versus Tyron [Woodley], I don’t think so. Is he ready? Oh, you bet your ass he’s ready. He could even win that fight. You bet your ass, he’s the top guy. I don’t know, I’m hearing rumors. Here’s why I say it, normally I’d tell you yes because Dana [White] had said whoever wins this fight is fighting for the title. I think he thought Robbie [Lawler] was going to win. That’s really irrelevant either way, but he did say that. Now that RDA has won, I haven’t heard anyone say he was fighting Tyron for the title, but I have heard rumors.”
— UFC (@ufc) December 20, 2017
“This whole sport runs on rumors. Every time we hear a rumor, it turns into something. I’m talking 99 percent of sparks in this sport turns into flames. There is a rumor that they are working on Tyron and Colby Covington as coaches for The Ultimate Fighter. The way that works is the two coaches ultimately fight each other, because Tyron is the champion, the title would be on the line. I don’t know that that rumor is true and I don’t know who started it, but I do know that dialogue is out there. Like anything, if it does gain, this is a business first. Guys always want to argue, ‘Well I’ve got the wins and the resume on my side.’ The wins and the resume is wonderful, but the mandate of the masses trumps everything. If people get on board with wanting to see Colby versus Tyron more than they get on board with seeing Tyron versus RDA, that’s the fight.” — Chael Sonnen via his official Facebook.
Not only does the timing make sense with Tyron Woodley’s shoulder surgery, but keeping the UFC’s number one heel in close quarters with Woodley would hype the fight. Not only that, but the ratings of The Ultimate Fighter could spike due to Covington’s antics and his already infamous persona. As Sonnen said, the ‘mandate of the masses’ can sway the booking in the UFC and right now — love him or hate him — Colby Covington’s stock is up. If this ends up happening, it probably wouldn’t make dos Anjos too happy, but whatever fight he’s put in after his dominant performance of Lawler will be closely watched.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 12/26/2017.