Now that a UFC 244 headlining bout between Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington has, at the least, been delayed, former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley says he is ready to step in and run it back with Usman.
“Since Colby’s being a bitch per usual! Usman, what you say we run this back! If any thing is ‘super necessary’ it’s this!” Woodley wrote in response to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani posting about the announcement that Nate Diaz vs. Jorge Masvidal would headline UFC 244.
The original plan had been for UFC welterweight champion Usman to make the first defense of the belt he won by defeating Woodley in the UFC 244 main event on Nov. 2 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. He was expected to put the belt on the line opposite Covington, who is a former interim titleholder.
What happened to Kamaru Usman vs. Colby Covington?
Negotiations for Usman vs. Covington went sideways last week, causing UFC president Dana White to shift gears.
“(The fight between Usman and Covington) completely fell apart between those two,” White told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto on Saturday. “That fight fell apart. At one point, it was looking like we might be doing Masvidal vs. Usman, then that fell apart, and (Diaz vs. Masvidal) popped up out of nowhere (Friday) night and really started to come together and looked like it could be done, so we got it done.”
White put the reasoning for the Usman vs. Covington bout falling apart on the fighters, though he declined to say that it was specifically one or the other. Deductive reasoning would lean toward Covington being the bigger problem, as White was still looking to book Usman at UFC 244 with Masvidal, but he didn’t say that.
“Remember this, I put on fights for a living. That’s what I do. When I go out and tell you we’ll do this guy versus this guy, this guy is next, if it doesn’t happen, it’s not me,” White explained.
“I’m out there trying to make fights. I just got Diaz and Masvidal done, which is unbelievable. Like I told you the other day, what guys say publicly and what goes on behind closed doors is two different things. The thing about me, I don’t wait for anybody. I don’t care big of star you are, I have a fight at MSG, so we move, we roll. You either get on board or you get left behind and we’ll talk to you later on down the road.”
Tyron Woodley ready to return to the Octagon
Woodley has been on the shelf since losing the championship to Usman at UFC 235 on March 2. He had been booked to rematch Robbie Lawler in the UFC on ESPN 3 main event on June 29, but had to withdraw because of a hand injury.
Seemingly ready to get back in the Octagon, Woodley has now inserted his name in the mix for the title since Covington is once again finding it difficult to negotiate his way into the UFC welterweight championship fight.
This marks the third time that Covington has been expected to fight for the UFC welterweight championship, but hasn’t made it to the Octagon.