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Dana White addresses latest Colby Covington vs. Tyron Woodley rumors: ‘Covington is definitely in’

Colby Covington makes some bold claims, but he has UFC President Dana White backing him up on at least one.

On Wednesday, Covington shared a picture of a bout agreement on social media to show that he and rival Tyron Woodley were offered a fight on Aug. 22. He accused Woodley of pulling out of the event and according to White, not only is the promotion working on a fight between the two longtime rivals, but Covington has indeed signed on for his end of the matchup.

“It’s a fight we’re working on,” White said at a media scrum in Abu Dhabi on Friday. “Listen, Woodley said he wanted to fight him. Woodley’s been talking about fighting Colby Covington since Colby fought Usman, so it is true that Colby signed the deal and he’s ready to go. We’re just waiting on Woodley.”

Shortly after Covington’s call-out, Woodley responded, saying that he’d be willing to fight Covington in “a nursing home” if it comes down to it, but that he was not interested in the Aug. 22 date. He confirmed that he refused to sign the bout agreement in question.

White spoke of the difficulties of putting together seemingly obvious matchups, pointing out that there is a large part of negotiations that the general public is not privy to regardless of what is said by fighters in interviews and on social media. Though he’s currently more concerned with the UFC’s Fight Island operations, White reiterated that as far as he knows, Covington and Woodley is in the works.

“I’m always trying to make the fights that should be made or people want to see,” White said. “People can say whatever they want publicly, but behind the scenes it’s another story. I can’t speak honestly about what’s going on, I’m not involved with that, I’m in here, but we’re trying to make Woodley vs. Covington. Covington is definitely in.”

With so much of the UFC’s schedule still up in the air, White isn’t even sure where events will necessarily be held in August (the current plan is to return to UFC APEX in Las Vegas, but Nevada’s difficulties dealing with the coronavirus pandemic could change that plan) or later so he couldn’t say if it’s possible to accommodate Woodley’s suggestion of a September or October date.

“I don’t know,” White said. “I couldn’t tell you right now.”

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