Despite all the chatter about Colby Covington possibly being stripped of his interim UFC welterweight title and the fight promotion moving on to matching undisputed champion Tyron Woodley with Darren Till, Covington said that he's going to unify the titles by the end of the year.
The UFC had reportedly been working to make Woodley vs. Covington the headliner at UFC 228 on Sept. 8 in Dallas, Covington, however, is dealing with some health issues. Sources told MMAWeekly.com's Damon Martin that he is going to have surgery and wouldn't be ready for a September date.
ESPN then reported that the UFC was considering taking Covington's interim belt and having Woodley fight Till. Covington recently told Submission Radio that his discussions have still been centered on unifying the belts and doing so later this year.
"We’re looking at doing it in November, December. You know, I need a little time off, I need to do a little recovering. I’m only human, man, I gotta get a little vacation. I just can’t keep running my body through the ground, going through training camps. You have to be strategic, and you know, November, December works for me," Covington said. "I had little health issues after my fight (with Rafael dos Anjos in June), so I’m getting those taken care of and by the year’s end I will unify my belt and retire Tyron Woodley for good."
With Conor McGregor currently mired in legal issues, and others on the sidelines, Covington believes that his bout with Woodley is the biggest fight the UFC currently can make, so he's angling for it to take place at what is typically one of the UFC's biggest events of the year, UFC 230 in New York.
“I think the storyline that makes the most sense, this is the biggest fight that the UFC’s gonna make this year. There’s still questions regarding when Conor’s coming back, who knows when he’s coming back. They don’t know when (Daniel Cormier’s) gonna fight again because he’s got a broken hand. So, this is the biggest fight that UFC can serve. So, if you wanna serve the biggest fight between Colby 'Chaos' Covington and 'TyQuil' Woodley, they need to serve it up at the world’s most iconic arena, and that’s Madison Square Garden in Manhattan New York. So, that makes the most sense for the fight.”
After Covington defeated dos Anjos to claim the interim title, Woodley seemed more accepting than ever of the idea that he would have to fight Covington next. But, with all the chatter about Covington not being ready for UFC 228, and Woodley reportedly declining a fight with Till (according to Till), Covington has a Plan B if Woodley doesn't agree to fight him.
"If Tyron Woodley gets cold feet, which I think he will, deep down inside he knows what I used to do to him, he knows I took his soul at American Top Team. So, if he gets cold feet and he backs out, then I guess the perfect storyline that make sense for the pay-per-view is Toronto against that little syrup sucker (Georges St-Pierre)," Covington continued.
"He’s been seeing aliens, he’s been doing all kinds of things. Who knows what’s going on in that guy’s head. But he has expressed interest in wanting another fight, so if TyQuil can’t come together and get his grip together to sign a contract, then I guess I’m going after GSP in Canada."