MMA Ratings Podcast

September 23, 2020

Colby Covington vs. Tyron Woodley: A Grudge Match Years In The Making, But Didn't Live Up To The Hype

By Adam Martin

This past Saturday night at UFC on ESPN+ 36, we finally got to see the grudge match between welterweight contenders Colby Covington and Tyron Woodley. These two have been chirping at each other for years, ever since Covington and Woodley were teammates at American Top Team. Much has changed in the last few years, as Woodley is no longer the UFC Welterweight Champion and Covington has moved on to a different camp at MMA Masters. But the bitterness between these two rivals still runs deep between them, and this past weekend, we finally got to see them settle their score in the Octagon.

Considering Covington has made many enemies in the game, there were plenty of welterweights who wanted to get their hands on "Chaos," but Woodley was the man who got the call. After years of trying to put it together, the UFC was finally able to get this fight booked, but unfortunately, it did not live up to the hype. The fight was all Covington for the most part, as he controlled the striking and grappling until the fifth round, where Woodley was forced to verbally submit due to a broken rib. Covington was handed the stoppage win, bouncing back into the win column after suffering a TKO loss to champion Kamaru Usman in his last fight. As for Woodley, the loss to Covington was this third straight.
This was a huge fight for both men at 170 lbs. In a stacked division, every fight matters, so both men really needed to get their hand raised. Unfortunately for Woodley, it wasn't meant to be, as "T-Wood" was unable to bounce back after two straight lopsided losses -- first to Usman and then to Gilbert Burns in his next fight. And he didn't just lose those bouts, he was shut out on the scorecards. After losing to Covington, Woodley has now lost his last 15 rounds, and UFC President Dana White said following the event that he would be talking to Woodley about retirement.

As for Covington, this was a big win for him, as he looks for another title shot against Usman. No one has been able to beat Usman in the UFC, but Covington was arguably one round away from beating him before he was stopped in the last minute of an epic title fight. Until this Woodley fight went down, he hadn't fought since the Usman fight at UFC 245 last December, but he remains one of the top-ranked welterweights in the division, and one of the biggest names. In a weight class like 170 where there are so many contenders coming up at all times, Covington vs. Woodley was a must-win fight for both men, and Covington got the job done. It keeps him entrenched in the Top 5 of the UFC welterweight division going forward.

This was a hugely important fight for both Covington and Woodley, not just for the division's rankings, but also because it was an opportunity for one of these men to get the last laugh. We know these two don't like each other, but words are just words, and finally, these two were able to settle their differences. This is a legitimate rivalry, and now we finally know that Covington is the better fighter. It's a shame the fight didn't happen in Woodley's prime, but for Covington, this was a legitimate win.

The UFC wasn't able to capitalize on the beef between Colby Covington and Tyron Woodley a few years ago, but at least we finally got to see it. Better late than never, after all. The fight didn't live up to the hype, unfortunately, but at least we were able to find out who the better fighter was. Covington dominated the fight from bell-to-bell and ended up getting the finish. But when it comes to Woodley, we now arguably have more questions than answers following his latest dull performance.

UFC Fight Night
Colby Covington vs. Tyron Woodley: Colby Covington def. Tyron Woodley via TKO (injury) at 1:19 of Round 5.


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