John Locher/Associated Press
Tyron Woodley is nearly ready to get back in the Octagon following his unanimous decision loss to Gilbert Burns on May 30.
The 38-year-old welterweight told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani he’s interested in a bout against Colby Covington, though he wants a fight this fall rather than a potential clash at UFC Fight Night on August 22. The comments come hours after Covington called out Woodley in an Instagram post on Wednesday for refusing to fight next month.
“My answer to whether I would fight Colby is eternally yes,” Woodley told ESPN. “At 96 years old in a nursing home, it’s yes! He said no six times and now creates a date that works for him? F–k out of here.”
Covington, 32, has gone a bit longer without a fight having last been knocked out by Kamaru Usman in a title bout at UFC 245 in December.
Since then, the California native parted ways with his gym, American Top Team, after owner Dan Lambert instituted a rule that teammates “couldn’t rip each other in public.” Covington told ESPN’s Marc Raimondi he is now “his own team.”
Woodley and Covington have circled each other for years but have yet to make a fight happen. ESPN reports UFC would like a fight sooner than later but it’s unclear if it’s lining up a different opponent to face Covington on August 22.
Not even Woodley imagined Covington would want to fight so soon.
“I literally treated it like every other bluff and told them quit contacting me until this b—h signed a bout agreement,” Woodley texted Helwani. “Never thought he would sign. September/October, I’ll get around to exterminating that roach. Let me call the UFC and see what’s crackin.”
Covington (15-2, 2 KOs) had won seven straight bouts before falling to Usman in five rounds. He’ll have plenty of work to do before he gets another shot at the welterweight title, especially after Usman successfully defended the belt against Jorge Masvidal at UFC 251 last Saturday.
Gilbert Burns, who was originally scheduled to face Usman on Fight Island, was pulled from the card after testing positive for COVID-19. He remains a likely opponent for Usman in the near future.
Meanwhile, Woodley (19-5, 7 KOs) is looking to get back in the win column after two consecutive losses for the first time in his career, costing him the welterweight championship.
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