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Tyron Woodley recalls sparring session with ‘complete buffoon’ Colby Covington: ‘He ran off the mat basically crying’

Listen to Colby Covington speak long enough and it’s likely you’ll hear a story about how he outclassed UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley in the gym back when the two were training partners at American Top Team.

It’s an anecdote that Covington, the new UFC interim welterweight champion, has repeated often over the past year in his pursuit of a matchup against Woodley. The way Covington tells it, he and Woodley were supposed to do five rounds of sparring at ATT, however Woodley stopped the session prematurely after the first two. In retelling the story, Covington likes to say that he made Woodley “quit.” And now that the two rivals are set to meet in a title unification bout later this year, Woodley is ready to correct the record when it comes to his gym wars against Covington in Coconut Creek.

“I talked to (coach) Din (Thomas), I said, ‘Din, you know what? I’m going to take him down, and watch how he reacts.’ And I tortured him for the whole practice,” Woodley said recently on The MMA Hour. “He ran off the mat basically crying, storming off, and I have people who are willing to come forth and testify to the training camp. Tell me one person that’s going to testify that Colby whooped my ass in practice. Tell me one person that’s going to lie under oath and let God above hear them say he beat me in anything. He ain’t ever beat me at thumb wrestling.

“Not only has he never taken me down, he’s never won a millisecond of a round,” Woodley added. “I can’t even imagine when he’s won an exchange of combinations. He ran from me the entire training camp. He went home early, saying that his toe was hurting. And when it was time to really wrestle, he had my striking partner … in there with a broken wrist wrestling me, while Colby was sitting in the weight room acting like he didn’t know what was going on.

“So the fact that he would even bring that up, I’m going to whoop his ass so bad. I’ve never wanted to hurt somebody in my life. I’ve never wanted to beat somebody up so bad.”

Woodley, 36, largely ignored Covington as the controversial 30-year-old worked his way up the welterweight ranks, even as Covington turned his trash-talking crosshairs primarily toward Woodley starting last year with a barrage of insults on social media and in interviews. But now that Covington is the interim UFC champion and a matchup appears inevitable, Woodley isn’t willing to be so agreeable, and “T-Wood“ warns that he has plenty of material on his side that could paint Covington in a detrimental light.

“One thing that Colby is really underestimating, that I will leak these text messages of him,” Woodley said. “I’m his big brother, and I will always be his big brother.

“He was brought into training camp to help me train for Rory MacDonald, and I’ve never met a lazier piece of sh*t than Colby Covington, a more horrible human being than Colby Covington. When it was time to wrestle, ask him how many takedowns he actually scored on me. Zero. Ask him why he turned blue like a f*cking blueberry when I was choking him out and he refused to tap. So, he is an asshole training partner, he’s a horrible human being, nothing that he says is factual, and I told him. I called him and I said, ‘Hey, I know you feel like you’ve got to do this, this is the path that Conor McGregor made and you think this is what you’ve got to do, but you’re really making yourself look bad.’

“I said, ‘I gave you your one weekend on FOX when I was on-air and that’s all. So you can say whatever you want, but I’m not going to respond to it.’ He said, ‘Ah man, I’m just trying to make money for both of us, man. You know, we’ll both eat at the end of the day. Light at the tunnel.’ So when somebody’s doing a good [job promoting themselves], like with Conor (McGregor) or Chael (Sonnen), I hate to unveil them. But when you have [an employee] of American Top Team scripting and writing your stuff, and when 99 percent of your social media is my face, you need to check your man visa because you done lost all points.”

More than anything, Woodley couldn’t help but scoff at the persona Covington has built for himself. When he the two welterweights first met, Woodley was an established UFC contender while Covington was only a newbie. So considering how far back their history traces, Woodley just shakes his head when he hears many of Covington’s outlandish claims.

“All the money to his name, he had $2,000 to his name and it came from me,” Woodley said. ”He was carrying it around in a knot like a complete buffoon. All the money to his name, he had in a knot in his room from training with me. He had a rental car. He didn’t have to pay for no food, he went to the gun range whenever he wanted to, and he sat in that room and was the laziest — when I say lazy, the laziest piece of sh*t I’ve ever laid eyes on.

“Ask Urijah Faber about him. He came out to Urijah’s gym and he was so lazy, and he was talking so much sh*t on American Top Team, how, ‘Oh, nobody ever spars me and I’m beating up everybody. I’m beating up Robbie (Lawler). Everybody’s scared, I don’t have no training partners.’ And we all looked around at him like — it’s funny, I remember it was me, Thiago Alves, Hector Lombard, Robbie Lawler, all at Dan Lambert’s house playing poker, and I said, ‘If he can make it one round will all of us, then I’ll give him some respect. Not one of us is going to let him out of a round.’

“So it’s just like, I held onto this for so long and I let him talk, but I’m going to embarrass him in the press conference, I’m going to embarrass him in the fight. I hope he never fights again. And the UFC should be embarrassed for getting behind this. I’m embarrassed.”

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