Earlier this month, Tyron Woodley announced that he desired to defend his Welterweight championship against Nate Diaz, despite Diaz not even being anywhere near “contender-quality” for the title. After Diaz declined to the fight for December 30th at UFC 220, Woodley announced that he would then be getting the shoulder surgery that he was required to receive.
It made no sense when he repeatedly called out Diaz for a fight, considering Colby Covington was just as viable as an option. Covington has recently defeated Demian Maia, and is also the same fighter that Woodley defended his title against and defeated a few months prior. After his bout with Maia, Covington proceeded to call out Woodley publicly.
This situation is rather unique, considering Woodley waited around long enough for Diaz to decline, and then elected to get the shoulder surgery. Of course Woodley should primarily focus on his health and only fight when he’s fully healthy, but is Covington even a name in the back of his mind?
Covington is on a roll in the UFC welterweight division. He currently holds wins over Mike Pyle, Max Griffin, Dong Hyun Kim, and recently Maia. He is the type of fighter to raise a controversy just to make headlines, just like he did after he defeated Maia, as he proceeded to label Brazil a “dump” and “a bunch of filthy animals”.
Woodley is expected to return by April of 2018, and despite returning, I don’t believe he truly wants to fight Covington. Woodley has instead hinted at a super fight against Lightweight champion, Conor McGregor, who many are expecting to defend his title against interim Lightweight champion, Tony Ferguson.
Woodley should eventually look to defend his Welterweight championship after his upcoming surgery, and the options are endless for him. A bout against former Welterweight champion, Robbie Lawler, a trilogy fight against Stephen Thompson, or the fight everyone is expecting to see between Woodley and Covington are all viewed as rational options in the minds of most.
These next few months will either lead up to Covington getting what he wants, or Woodley potentially avoiding him long enough to not have to step in the octagon with him.
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