Paul is set to go one-on-one with Woodley inside the boxing ring. This will be the second time Paul mixes it up with a former MMA champion in a boxing match. Back in April, Paul took on Woodley’s longtime training partner and friend Ben Askren. Paul emerged victorious via first-round TKO.
Covington told Mike Bohn of MMAJunkie.com that even though he feels Paul is cherry-picking his opponents, he thinks Woodley will throw the fight.
“Without a doubt, he’s picking these fights with guys that are kind of toward the end of their career. Make no mistakes – Tyron has a great legacy. He was a world champion for a couple of times, but he’s past his time. He’s almost 40 years old now. He’s 38, 39, and Jake’s taking the right steps and taking the right fights with the right fighters that are kind of at the end of their careers and don’t really have enough gas left in the tank, so it’s sad.
“But they’re doing this on purpose, and I really think Tyron is going out there to take a dive. I think he’s broke. He needs the money. He’s got mouths to feed. He’s got a lot of alimony paychecks to pay. So I think he’s just going to go out there and take a dive. It’s going to be a circus, and we know boxing is the most corrupt sport in the world as it is. So this little side circus they’re doing with Jake Paul, of course they’re going to favor his way to make it a work.”
Covington has a history with Woodley. The two were once training partners at American Top Team. Things went awry when Covington began bad-mouthing Woodley for splitting his time with ATT and Roufusport. Ultimately, the two shared the Octagon back in September 2020 and Covington won the bout via fifth-round TKO due to a rib injury.
Covington and Woodley are at different stages in their combat sports careers at this point. Covington is eyeing a rematch with UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman. Woodley has lost his last four MMA bouts and is due for a massive payday to fight an Internet celebrity in Paul. Woodley also believes he could have more boxing matches after the Paul fight.