UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley has by and large ignored Colby Covington’s taunts.
Covington, a fellow welterweight who shares an American Top Team affiliation with Woodley, turned heads following UFC 214 by siding with UFC president Dana White over Woodley during their dispute over Woodley’s match with Demian Maia.
During a special edition of The MMA Hour live from Las Vegas, Woodley broke his silence on the matter. Woodley pointed out that he trained for his unanimous decision win over Maia at the ATT gym in Coconut Creek, Fla.
And the champ says that Covington lacked the fortitude to repeat to Woodley’s face what he said over the internet.
“Colby Covington wasn’t even really in the gym at all,” Woodley said. “Not even training, he was too busy on Twitter. He was saying all this stuff, and now I’m in the gym, now it’s like, now where the talk at? Where you at? Nothing. Silence. And the irony of him having to shadowbox underneath the picture of me with the belt on, was enough for me.”
According to Woodley, Covington had plenty of opportunities to speak with the champion.
“I’m shadowboxing by you, I’m jogging by you, I’m standing near you, and you’re facing the wall and you won’t even turn around and look at me. You’re in the corner and you won’t move from that corner until I finish my workout and stand in the corner and shadow box in the same spot for 30 minutes and you wouldn’t turn your back. But you got so much to say on the internet.”
Beyond that, though, Woodley says he’s not going to give Covington much more attention, saying he prefers to prove himself in the ring the old-school way.
“If you’re going to step up, be real,” Woodley said. “If you want to do you thing on Twitter, have at it. I’m not going to stop you, a lot of people think that’s the way you have to make money. People like me think you just gotta beat top guys to get there. If that’s what he wants to do, I’m not going to stop him I’m not going to debate him I’m not going to give him any attention. It’s just really embarrassing for our sport that people who can’t just do it the old-school way and just beat people.”
Meanwhile, Woodley is still working on rehabbing his shoulder injury suffered early in his fight with Maia in Anaheim. A month removed from the UFC 214 bout, Woodley is trying to avoid surgery and is undergoing stem-cell treatment.
“I would love to say [the shoulder is] great, but I’m trying to go the non-surgery route, so that way I can be back in action. I got to meet with a doctor about doing the prp stem-cell deal I bought a stem machine called the arc, some crazy Russian stem machine that contracts your muscle like 500 times a second. So I’m already to the point where I can lift arm up. A few weeks back I couldn’t do that with no clicking.”
Woodley doesn’t necessarily see a rush to return, as he believes that, having defeated Robbie Lawler, Stephen Thompson, and Maia, there’s no clear-cut No. 1 contender.
“I’m getting better, but what am I in a rush for? Tell me who’s the No. 1 contender? For real, you’re not just going to throw me in there? I’ve already beaten one guy twice, beat the best grappler that’s ever been in there, beat the best brawler that’s ever been in there, and you’ve got all these clowns bumping the gums. You guys fight each other, I’m going to sit on the throne, watch and let me see a clear No. 1 contender.”
Or, Woodley could go in a completely different direction. He’s going to keep an eye on how the November middleweight title fight between Michael Bisping and Georges St-Pierre plays out.
“I might go up to 185 and make Bisping and Georges St-Pierre see me. They obviously don’t want to fight [me], maybe time it’s time for me to move to a different weight division.”