Woodley initially posted the news on Instagram. Multiple people with knowledge of the booking confirmed to MMA Fighting that the matchup is currently in the works for the Sept. 19 card, although contracts have not been issued or signed at this time. UFC officials have not confirmed the matchup yet.
The rivalry between Covington and Woodley stretches back several years after they were previously training partners at American Top Team in Florida. Covington then went on a very public campaign against Woodley in hopes of scoring a welterweight title shot.
Covington eventually went onto claim the interim welterweight title in June 2018, but he was forced to undergo sinus surgery in the aftermath of a five-round fight with Rafael dos Anjos. That ultimately prevented him from fighting Woodley in September, and the UFC eventually moved onto offer the title opportunity to Darren Till.
Woodley then suffered a thumb injury that prevented him from competing again until March 2019. But the UFC decided to give Kamaru Usman a title shot rather than offering the matchup to Covington again.
The latest attempt to book the fight came in August after Covington posted a copy of a signed bout agreement while calling out Woodley for not signing the contract. It turned out Woodley was offered that date, but he was unable to compete on that timeline following his loss to Gilbert Burns in May.
Now it appears all of the obstacles have been cleared for Covington and Woodley to finally go to war on Sept. 19.
The fight will not only bring the rivals head-to-head in a highly anticipated clash between top welterweights, but it will also serve as an opportunity for both to bounce back from recent losses.
Woodley seeks to return to the win column after back-to-back losses to Usman and Burns. Meanwhile, Covington makes his first appearance since suffering a fifth-round TKO to Usman this past December.
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