Woodley responds to RDA vs. Covington ‘Booboo’ belt

Monday, April 16, 2018

UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley defending his belt in July, had surgery in December, and planned to return to the Octagon on July. Thus he was a little take aback when the UFC announced Chicago, Rafael dos Anjos was fighting Colby Covington on June 9 at UFC 225 in Chicago, Illinois.

“We all know it doesn’t have to have an interim title,” said Woodley to Mike Bohn and John Morgan for MMAjunkie. “It’s a No. 1 contendership fight. And let’s be clear: Who was the No. 1 contender before then? Technically Stephen ‘Wonderboy’, to be honest. So this fight needed to happen to say who was the No. 1 contender. It didn’t need the interim belt behind it. Part of me wanted to be disrespected, but the other part is like, ‘You know what, I fought four times in a year.’ It hasn’t even been a year since I’ve been out. I was willing and ready to fight in July, which is still almost a month shy of being a year.

“What other champion, what other circumstance or situation have we ever seen this before? I’ve never seen it myself. It’s just focusing on rehabbing, focusing on doing what I need to do. I’m going to be real quiet right now and when I come back I’m going to let my hands do the talking.”

Woodley said the UFC asked him about fighting in July, but he was uncertain at that point that the shoulder would be ready. He has since healed faster than expected.

“I’m looking at ‘RDA’ like, ‘Man, that don’t make a lot of sense,” said Woodley. “You don’t have to fight this fight. I already said I would fight you. No, you’re fighting a guy …’ – I just think of the Frankie Edgar situation. He got jumped over the ladder [by Brian Ortega at UFC 222]. That’s his choice. They’re fighting for the ‘boo boo belt.’ The champion will be waiting to scrape up whoever is left over.”

Covington is well aware that trash talk earns money in MMA, and revels in it. If he wins, Woodley will be fighting him.

“I’ve just got to whoop his ass,” Woodley said of Covington. “I still don’t have to give him the time of day. He’s doing a lot of barking. … He’s trying to be the heel, but he has no knockouts ever in the history of his fighting.”