Colby Covington has made plenty of enemies during his controversial rise to the interim welterweight belt. Chief among those enemies is a man widely considered to be one of the greatest fighters of all-time: Covington’s former college roommate Jon Jones.
Jones and Covington have sparred on social media multiple times over the past year, the latest instance of which occurred right before UFC 225, when Jones fired off a pair of tweets in support of Covington’s opponent Rafael dos Anjos and jokingly offered $50,000 to any fan who would hit Covington with a boomerang at the event. Jones also posted a now-deleted image to Instagram of Covington washing the former light heavyweight champion’s dishes accompanied by a caption that called Covington “disgusting” and “a special type of liar.”
And according to the likely next man to face Covington, UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, Jones’ distaste for the 30-year-old interim titleholder doesn’t end there. Woodley said Jones personally called him after UFC 225 and offered to help for his yet-to-be-announced title unification match against Covington.
“It funny because Jon doesn’t reach out to me very much,” Woodley explained recently on The MMA Hour. “Jon said, ‘Hey, whatever you need, brother. I want to help you.’ I told Jon, I said, ‘Man, you work so hard for your platform, from actually kicking ass and beating legends in their prime, and being one of the greatest fighters we’ve ever seen. Don’t give him your platform.’ Because he put a post up about him.
“I said, ‘I am going to kick his ass so bad, he’s gonna wish he was dead instead,’” Woodley continued. “‘He’s going to try to find a way out.’ I said, ‘So don’t worry about it.’ The dude was like, ‘It can’t happen soon enough.’”
While a date has yet to be decided, a matchup between Woodley and Covington appears to be the obvious next step in the UFC‘s welterweight division.
Covington said after his interim title win that he is hoping for a November meeting against Woodley at Madison Square Garden at UFC 230.
Woodley, however, has been sidelined since July 2017 because of a shoulder injury. He has long targeted a July or August return, and now that he is once again healthy, “T-Wood” scoffed at the idea of Covington dictating the terms of their eventual fight.
“He might f*ck around and get a fight in the street if I see him close enough,” Woodley said. “He might get it sooner.
“You notice how I didn’t make a fuss about the interim belt? I called it the boo-boo belt because that’s what it is, it’s kind of a joke, but I didn’t go up and make a stink about it. I didn’t go and have a fit. I stayed busy. I kept working, I kept rehabbing, I kept training. And now, at five or six months, I’m 100 percent, which is a fast turnover for anybody who’s ever had a labrum tear. And now that [UFC 225 is] done, [I’ll do the fight] whenever they want to do the fight, if they want us to fight in July, they want us to fight in August, September, November. He ain’t the champion.
“Take a nice warm glass of sit your ass down and shut the f*ck up, because you ain’t the champion, you don’t make the calls. Nobody cares where you want to fight at. You fight when the champ wants to fight. And if you wear that belt around at the press conference, I will make fun of you, I will embarrass you. If you wear a terrible looking suit again, that you got off the f*cking clearance rack and had somebody put two staples in the back, you will get made fun of. So he has no say-so on when we fight. You’re lucky and blessed you get to take this ass-whooping. When I’m ready to fight and the UFC deems it the best time where I can make the most money, then we’ll fight.”
There is certainly no love lost between Woodley and Covington, especially given the lengthy history the two share as former training partners at American Top Team.
So Woodley wasn’t shy about imparting one final message to Covington before the lead-up to their title unification match begins in earnest.
“Colby Covington, you are a b*tch, and I’m going to whoop your ass up and down the Octagon,” Woodley said. ”You are an embarrassment to the sport, and I hope after this fight you never fight again. And as I told you in my gym a long time ago, when I told you to get a job when you were complaining about not having money, and you said, ‘Oh, I’ll never be a grocery bagger. I’m a pro fighter.’ I told you I’m a world champion and I’ll bag groceries right now.
“Hopefully you won’t end up taking that job bagging groceries.”