At UFC 235 in March, Tyron Woodley will defend his welterweight belt against Kamaru Usman to the surprise of many, including Woodley’s own coach Din Thomas.
Fans were expecting to see Woodley face Colby Covington for the title, since Covington won the interim title last summer before being stripped, and the pair have been going back-and-forth over social media for a while.. However, the UFC decided to award the title shot to Usman instead, which drew heavy criticism from Covington.
Thomas spoke to BJPenn.com and said Covington – in his eyes – deserved the opportunity to fight the champ first given Covington’s recent performances and the budding enmity between Covington and Woodley.
“Colby does deserve the title shot,” Thomas said. “Tyron had to eat it for two years, Colby’s been poking him with a stick for two years and he’s earned it, and we recognize that. Colby beat everyone in front of him, he won the interim belt, and said what he said so Tyron was ready for him but then Usman came along. Usman in his own way earned the right to fight Tyron but we felt he should’ve gotten in line. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter to Tyron.”
Speculation as to why Covington isn’t fighting Woodley could have something to do with “Chaos” deciding to undergo nasal surgery instead of taking a unification bout with Woodley last September, a decision that apparently did not sit well with UFC President Dana White.
UFC 235 takes place March 2, 2019 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The loaded card is scheduled to be headlined by a light heavyweight title fight between Jon Jones and Anthony Smith, with Woodley vs. Usman in the co-main event slot.