Tyron Woodley will try to end the first two-fight losing streak of his career later tonight (Sat., Sept. 19, 2020) at UFC Vegas 11 live on ESPN+ from inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, when the former UFC welterweight champion takes on perennial contender Colby Covington.
While Woodley has participated in some of the biggest fights at 170 pounds over the past five years this may be his most important outing to date. At 38 years of age, “Chosen One” is running out of time to reposition himself atop the welterweight division and make one final push at UFC gold. Woodley had only lost two total fights in UFC competition before his current losing streak so he’s really traversing uncharted territory entering tonight’s main event.
Luckily, Woodley is going up against a fighter in Covington that is going to push the action and force “Chosen One” to fight for every inch. Not to mention the bad blood shared between the two welterweights that will surely put Woodley on top of his game.
“I just want to beat him because he’s my next opponent, and because I should. I’m the best welterweight in the world. It’s time for me—for myself—to start proving that and going out there and fighting free. Should I really be out here competing if my only motivation—had he not pissed you off, had he not been saying politically crazy stuff, had he not done these things—then I wouldn’t have wanted to beat him? No. I’m the best welterweight and I’ve got to go out there and show that,” Woodley told UFC.com.
Woodley, who hasn’t won since a submission victory over Darren Till back in 2018, is coming off the aforementioned back-to-back losses. They came against current champion Kamaru Usman and No. 1 contender Gilbert Burns, who both swarmed “Chosen One” and beat him in the trenches. While Covington fights in similar fashion and will try to do the same against the former champ at UFC Vegas 11, Woodley believes the matchup is happening at the perfect time and will be able to handle the moment.
“I feel good. I feel good about the fight. I feel good about my preparation and the people I brought in,” said Woodley. “I also feel good about the moment in time. I feel like this fight is happening at the right time. I feel like my balance in life, just being clear-minded, going to be reactionary out there in the Octagon vs over-thinking things is going to be very helpful.”
While this is a tremendous matchup based on skill alone fight fans can’t help but salivate over the rivalry shared between Woodley and Covington. The two welterweights have been chomping at the bit for years now and Woodley is ready to prove he is the superior fighter. Having the chance to shut “Chaos” up and put an end to his shtick is just icing on the cake for the former UFC champion.
“I mean, at the end of the day, nobody unveils the curtain on their own gig. If they’re doing a character, they’re holding character until the job is done…that’s retirement. You don’t tell people ‘I’m playing the heel.’ Who wants to follow somebody that’s playing the heel? You’re basically creating controversy because you feel like, who you are as a person, who you are as a fighter, your skill set, is not enough. So he’s basically telling me and everybody else ‘I’m not enough, as is. I have to create something to get attention because me, myself, and who I am and what I bring to the table is not enough.’ So I feel sad for him. He has to walk around and create antics and look in the mirror and practice these lines when all I have to do is focus on destroying him.”
At the end of day, Woodley needs a win. Whether he’s fighting a rival like Covington or any other contender in division’s top 10, “Chosen One” must capture victory this weekend in Vegas to escape a dreaded three-fight losing streak and give UFC more ammo to potentially take him out of the title mix.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 11 fight card HERE, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” undercard bouts at 5 p.m. ET, followed by the ESPN+ main card start time at 8 p.m. ET.