There has been a major development in the drama at 170, with the president himself making it crystal clear who will be getting the next title shot at Tyron Woodley.
After Colby Covington defeated Rafael dos Anjos for the interim welterweight championship at UFC 225, the countdown began for Covington to finally be granted the opportunity back up all the trash talking he had directed at Tyron Woodley long before becoming interim champion. The UFC offered Covington a title opportunity at UFC 228 in Dallas, Texas, but Covington opted to have surgery to correct a nasal issue and requested to fight in Madison Square Garden at UFC 230 instead.
The UFC would then move in another direction and offer the title shot to Darren Till for the same event. Woodley would defeat Till in dominant fashion and the UFC were willing to give Woodley vs. Colby Covington another try for UFC 233. Only this time, it was Woodley who needed an additional two months due to surgery to his hand.
Meanwhile, Kamaru Usman was out building quite the résumé for himself, rallying together the longest winning streak in the welterweight division, including over Colby Covington’s last two opponents: Demian Maia and Rafael dos Anjos. So while Woodley had to sit out an additional two months and Covington’s interim title no longer being valid due to Woodley returning to action at UFC 228, the UFC made the choice to move forward with a new interim title fight between Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington for UFC Brooklyn. Covington declined the fight and vowed to only fight for the title for his next contest.
With Covington declining to fight Usman and also having declined the UFC 228 fight against Woodley, the UFC felt justified in now moving forward with Kamaru Usman as the next challenger for Tyron Woodley. Usman would post the official bout agreement for him to challenge Tyron Woodley to verify this. The only problem is, Woodley has been on record continuing to say that it is Colby Covington he wants to fight next, not Kamaru Usman.
After Ali Abdelaziz went public with his claim that Kamaru Usman will 100% get the next title shot, Dana White would confirm this, telling MMAJunkie earlier today (Dec. 26) via text:
“That fight is happening or Usman vs. someone for the title.”
Perhaps being made aware of today’s developments, Tyron Woodley would Tweet a statement in what could be interpreted as a tone of resignation to the fact that his next title challenger will, in fact, be Kamaru Usman:
— Tyron T-Wood Woodley (@TWooodley) December 26, 2018
“I asked my boss for one thing for Christmas! Didn’t see the bout agreement under my tree @ColbyCovMMA must have bitched out again! @ufc”
Perhaps it was resignation or perhaps it was a last-ditch effort to will a potentially more lucrative fight against Colby Covington into existence. Either way, it would appear that neither Dana White nor Kamaru Usman are budging from their position.
What do you think of Dana White’s decision to promise Kamaru Usman the next title shot in light of the timeline of events?