Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Covington on Wednesday posted a copy of a bout agreement for the bout and said the ex-UFC champion ultimately pulled out of the event.
“This was supposed to be your main event August 22nd on ESPN until Tyrone did what his daddy should’ve and pulled out... AGAIN!” Covington wrote on Instagram.
A post shared by colbycovington (@colbycovmma) on Jul 15, 2020 at 3:18pm PDT
Following his initial post, Covington issued a statement to MMA Fighting about the matchup falling through again.
“He gassed out against a fat school teacher the other night playing relay races on NBC, and I think the people close to him finally had a come to Jesus meeting about the suicidal tendencies he is exhibiting by wanting to sign a contract with my name on the other end of it,” Covington said of Woodley. “It’s a death sentence and he knows it, everyone knows it.”
The “relay races” Covington mentioned is Woodley’s recent appearance on the reality competition series Titan Games hosted by actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
MMA Fighting reached out to Woodley’s management team for comment, but did not receive a response at the time of publication.
When it comes to the fight, Covington and Woodley have been engaged in a heated rivalry for several years. But despite the bad blood between them, they have still never clashed inside the octagon.
It appeared the matchup would happen in 2018 after Covington captured the interim welterweight title while Woodley was still the reigning 170-pound champion. Unfortunately, Covington underwent sinus surgery after a big win over ex-lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos, and he was unable to make a quick turn around to fight again in September.
Woodley went onto defeat Darren Till, and then he suffered a thumb injury that kept him from competing again for the remainder of the year.
It has appeared Covington and Woodley were destined to meet, but the fight has never come together. In March, Covington volunteered to step in when Leon Edwards was ruled out of UFC London when the promotion tried to move the card to the U.S. due to the coronavirus pandemic. Then Woodley invited Covington to fight one month later at UFC 249 and promised to write him off for good without an agreement.
According to the most recent contract, the UFC tried to book the fight as the main event for the Aug. 22 card scheduled for the APEX facility in Las Vegas. But yet again, the rivals will not be meeting.