Current Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight interim champion Colby Covington has been uncharacteristically quiet since the UFC announced that he would not be fighting champion Tyron Woodley next month at UFC 228, and that Woodley would instead be fighting Liverpool’s Darren Till.
“Chaos” was originally offered the fight to unify the belts but told the UFC that he was unavailable to fight in September due to the fact he had just undergone nasal surgery. While the decision to deny Covington first crack at the champion may seem harsh, the UFC chose not to hold up the division any longer, with Woodley’s last fight coming over a year ago in July last year against Demian Maia.
Covington told MMAJunkie.com that he felt that the UFC were rushing him to accept the fight rather than promoting it to drive interest given the pair’s history.
“Why are they trying to rush a camp?” Covington said. “This fight needs a build-up, man. It needs a 12-week promotional build-up. Let me get out there and show that I can promote, and I can market fights and sell fights. Because nobody’s selling fights like me. I know how to do that now. These other guys, they don’t know how to do that. I wanted the fight, but I didn’t want the date. There was no way I was going to be ready. It’s only been up for me. I don’t think about the negative in my life. I just think about the positives. They’re not stripping anything. I earned that belt. The only way you can take that belt is by beating me in the Octagon, and there’s not a man alive that can beat me. Whether it’s ‘Tyquil’ Woodley or ‘Tillsbury Doughboy,’ I’ll be ready for that No. 1 contender fight.”
UFC 228 takes place on Sept. 8 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas and also features the first time the women’s flyweight title will be defended when current champion Nicco Montano faces off against Valentina Shevchenko.