For the better part of four-plus rounds, the former welterweight champion struggled to keep his back off the cage, constantly defending takedown attempts and a relentless pace from Covington.
The fight ended after Covington planted Woodley on the mat in the fifth round, and a rib injury forced him to call a stop to the contest.
Woodley didn’t appear at the UFC Vegas 11 post-fight press conference, but he did take to Instagram for a short video as he was being transported to a local hospital to check on his injuries. While he didn’t yet have a diagnosis, Woodley said that he “popped a rib,” which was what ultimately led to the TKO loss.
Considering how the fight played out, Woodley was at a loss for words regarding what went wrong. But he knows falling to Covington was the absolute last thing he wanted.
“I appreciate you guys – love you guys,” Woodley said during the video. “It didn’t go the way I wanted guys. Last person I wanted to lose to.
“I don’t know what the f**k happened. It happened. Gotta dust it off, shake the sh*t off and find a way.”
While his losses have come against the top three welterweights ranked in the UFC right now, Woodley hasn’t been a major factor in any of those matchups, falling in two lopsided decisions and then losing by TKO on Saturday night.
It’s impossible to say where Woodley goes from here, but UFC president Dana White believes it might be time for the former welterweight champion to begin thinking about the end of his fighting career.
“I think that he should start thinking about hanging it up,” White said about Woodley during the post-fight press conference. “He’s had a great career, he’s had a great run.”