Earlier this week, the UFC announced that welterweight champion Tyron Woodley would be defending his title against Darren Till at UFC 228 this September. The announcement came as a shock since it was expected that Woodley’s next defense would be a unification bout with interim title holder Colby Covington. Unfortunately for Covington, he was unable to compete on the timeline the UFC wanted so instead, the UFC stripped him of his interim belt just weeks after he won it. And while in the aftermath the discussion has been about the UFC “devaluing” belts, Woodley says that the entire situation was Covington’s fault since “Chaos” was faking an injury to avoid fighting him.
“They think they want some but they don’t really want none,” Woodley said recently on his Instagram Live. “Ain’t nobody scared of no ‘nerd-bashing.’ That motherf**ker acted like he has a sinus infection, he needed a Claritin. Boy, if you don’t get a Zyrtec in your mouth and come and get this action – because you’re gonna get it anyway if I don’t give it to you, you’ve got to get past somebody else that will.”
Woodley has been out of action since last July, dealing with an injured shoulder. Though his first year as champion was incredibly active – defending the belt three times in one year – Woodley’s extended absence while atop one of the premier divisions in the sport has been disappointing, playing a part in the UFC’s decision to create an interim title in the first place. Now though, “The Chosen One” finally has a return date nailed down and he is seemingly more excited about facing Till than he has been for his other title defenses.
“It’s been time to whoops some ass!” Woodley exclaimed. “I’m excited, and you know what, I want to give a shout out to Till. I just watched a little film, Till’s kind of a beast. That s**t gets me pumped up. when I fought Carlos Condit, when I fought Robbie Lawler, all these guys that are vicious, they really light that fire underneath you because you can’t sleep, you can’t rest, you can’t have a moment. Any time that I’ve had a fight against a vicious striker I’ve had to be on my P’s and Q’s.”
At only 25 years old, Till is one of the sports most exciting young prospects, but he comes with a serious risk: the Liverpudlian is an enormous welterweight who has twice missed weight in the UFC, including in his last fight with Stephen Thompson. One of the great fears with Till’s upcoming title shot is that he is unable to make 170 pounds exactly, leading to the title continuing to go undefended. But so excited is Woodley about this fight, he says he will face “The Gorilla” even if the undefeated young fighter can’t make championship weight.
“If Till misses weight we’re still gonna fight, it just won’t be a world title fight for him and he’ll have to forfeit a percentage of his purse,” Woodley said. “This is a big fight for him. It’s a world title opportunity and my gut says he’s gonna rise to the occasion. Whatever problems he had in the past with making weight, I believe he’s gonna make it. It’s too big of an opportunity for him not to. [And if he doesn’t] I’m not gonna hold up the fight. One or two pounds ain’t gonna really change up the dynamic or outcome of the fight so I’m gonna go into it confident and not worry about that.”
Woodley and Till headline UFC 228 on Sept. 8 in Dallas, Texas.
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The MMA Beat.
After the Beat.
Woodley ripping Conor.
Khabib on being champ.
Colby with the boomerang in his head is A+.
Fights Gone By. Discussing UFC Calgary and this weekend’s Rizin card.
OAM is magic.
Luke Rockhold working with the guy who taught Bisping how to KO him.
Still calling out.
But this is a 10-7 round, at least.
JDS didn’t bite so moving down the line.
The thirst is real.
1997: Maurice Smith defeated Mark Coleman to win the UFC heavyweight championship at UFC 14. This was one of the first instances in UFC history of a striker defending himself against a grappler and winning the fight on the feet. This was also the debut of Mark Kerr who won the heavyweight tournament that night by shoving his chin in Dan Bobish’s eye until Bobish submitted.
2013: Demetrious Johnson submitted John Moraga with a fifth-round armbar to retain his flyweight title at UFC on FOX 8.
After a couple of weeks of snoozers, this weekend we have a legitimately great card. UFC Calgary could be a PPV and I wouldn’t mind paying for it in the slightest so the fact that it’s free is spectacular.
Thanks for reading and see y’all on Monday.
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