The next shot at dominant UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley is expected to go to former UFC interim welterweight champion Colby Covington.
In addition to being a fantastic matchup from a stylistic standpoint, this is a fight that is rife with drama, as Covington has hit Woodley with a near ceaseless stream of trash talk over the last year, and Woodley has not been afraid to fire back.
Given the history between the two men, there’s no denying that it will be giant fight. In the opinion of Colby Covington, however, it’s the biggest possible fight on the UFC’s calendar — bigger even than the promotion’s upcoming UFC 229 showdown between Conor McGregor and UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. In Covington’s eyes, this Nurmagomedov vs. McGregor fight is simply the “junior varsity” level.
“Without a doubt it will be Covington vs. Woodley [that’s bigger],” Covington said Monday on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show (transcript via MMAMania). “The sides in the line that are going to be drawn, the anger, the story line, we have a serious history. Everybody knows that. There’s too much juiciness in that fight.”
“The Conor and Khabib fight, yeah that’s cool, but, Conor is just looking to get paid and Khabib, all he does is wrestle,” Covington added. “They are little lightweights, that’s the JV side. If you want to come up in weight come up to the varsity squad.”
At present, Tyron Woodley and Colby Covington’s fight has not yet been made official. Covington, however, has recently challenged Woodley to a November 3 fight at UFC 230 inside New York City’s hallowed Madison Square Garden.
While Woodley has recently suggested Colby Covington doesn’t deserve a title shot, he also said he’ll take the fight if it’s offered.
“I’m not saying I am gonna fight him, because I don’t feel like he deserves my platform right now,” Tyron Woodley said at the UFC 228 post-fight press conference last weekend, shortly after submitting Darren Till. “He had his chance to be here. He bitched out, if you want to be honest and frank. He talked all this crap and when he got in the hot seat, the second he won that belt, I said, ‘Let’s come get this smoke.’ He got quiet. Instagram accounts got taken down for a brief moment and he didn’t say nothing.
“I think it’s an embarrassment to the sport and if that’s the next person that’s gotta get the work, you don’t have to do much to get me up for that fight. We’ll see.”
Suffice it to say that the groundwork for a massive title fight between Tyron Woodley and Colby Covington has been laid. The only question remaining is just how big this fight will actually get.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/11/2018.