Woodley defeated Darren Till by second-round submission in the main event Saturday night in Dallas to retain the UFC welterweight title. Covington should have been the opponent on the card, since he won the interim belt at UFC 225 in June. But Covington wouldn’t have been ready in time due to sinus surgery.
So, Woodley fought and beat Till instead. Covington has been stripped of the interim belt.
“[Covington] had a chance,” Woodley said at the post-fight press conference. “He let Darren Till go out there and take his whooping for him. He tried to pause and tried to wait for a bigger pay-per-view, because his eyes got big. My thing is, I’m gonna fight anybody. I’m the best in the world, anybody they put in front of me, they’re gonna get beat up. If it’s Colby Covington, if it’s [Kamaru] Usman, if it’s [middleweight champion] Robert Whittaker. Whoever they want me to fight, we’re gonna do it.”
Usman weighed in Friday as an alternate, in case either Woodley or Till were unable to go. But it seems like he’s a notch below Covington in the pecking order. Covington already tweeted Saturday night that he wants to challenge Woodley at UFC 230 on Nov. 3 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Woodley, 36, did not say Covington is next. But he also didn’t say Covington was out of the question.
“I’m not saying I am gonna fight him, because I don’t feel like he deserves my platform right now,” Woodley said. “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.”
As far as timing, Woodley left the Octagon after fighting Till relatively unscathed. It was a dominant performance. “T-Wood” said November at the Garden is a possibility. The UFC still does not have a headlining bout.
“The more I fight, the better I get,” Woodley said. “And the most comfortable I get, the more confident I get. So I want to stay as active as possible. If November is a date they’re looking for a main event, I think they got their guy.”