Following the fights on Saturday night, UFC president Dana White addressed Covington’s performance and while he may not think much of him personally, he credited the former interim champion for showing incredible toughness over the course of the fight with Usman.
In fact, White was stunned that Covington may have competed for a big part of that fight with a broken jaw, which was later revealed to be a “non-displaced midline mandible fracture.”
As much as White clashed with Covington leading up to the fight, he really has no issues with him going forward and he’s already thought of a potential matchup for his next fight.
“I don’t have a problem with him. I don’t have a problem with Covington,” White said post fight at UFC 245. “I’d love to do him and [Tyron] Woodley next. That would be a fun fight, but if he has a broken jaw, he ain’t going to be around for a minute.
“After a war like this, he’s going to have to go rest, take care of himself for a while and then we’ll see what he wants to do.”
Covington and Woodley have a long history together that started out as training partners at American Top Team but for the past couple of years, they’ve been involved in one of the most heated rivalries in the sport.
Unfortunately, Covington never got the chance to face Woodley while he was champion and after he lost the title to Usman back in March, the matchup between former teammates didn’t make sense any longer.
Woodley still hasn’t fought since losing to Usman, although the UFC has been attempting to book him in a fight with Leon Edwards, who has won his past eight fights in a row. Maybe now Woodley would be wise to wait if there’s a chance he could face Covington in 2020.
As far as his own relationship with Covington moving forward, White says battle lines aren’t drawn and he’s not trying to engage in a back and forth war of words with him.
Instead, White is just going to give Covington the time he needs to recover and then he’ll look to book him in his next fight once he’s healthy again.
“Listen, I’ve dealt with his type a million times in the last 20 years,” White said about Covington. “You can tell he’s not happy that tonight did not go as he planned. He came out with a game plan, whatever the hell he had going on in his mind that he was going to do or whatever was going to happen and Usman stomped all over that.
“We’ll let this kid go back, heal up and figure out what’s next.”