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A long-awaited welterweight showdown between bitter rivals could be a little more than one month away.
According to ESPN, Colby Covington and Tyron Woodley have verbally agreed to square off at an Ultimate Fighting Championship event on Sept. 19. Woodley also announced the pairing on his Instagram account.
“Champ Camp in session,” Woodley wrote. “[Sept. 19] CockRoach Covington gets squashed.”
How that affects the UFC event calendar is currently unclear. At the moment, UFC 253 — headlined by a middleweight title tilt between Israel Adesanya and Paulo Henrique Costa — is slated for that same date at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. However, ESPN is reporting that card could potentially get moved to Sept. 26 in Abu Dhabi, while Covington vs. Woodley would headline the Sept. 19 bill.
Covington and Woodley developed a rivalry from their time training together at American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Florida. Covington captured the interim 170-pound belt in June 2018 and was supposed to face Woodley in a title unification bout at UFC 228, but sinus surgery prevented “Chaos” from competing on that card. Covington was ultimately stripped of the interim crown.
Covington took a seven-bout winning streak into his most recent outing, a title bout with Kamaru Usman at UFC 245. The 32-year-old fell to Usman via fifth-round TKO in a “Fight of the Year” candidate. Covington owns notable wins over the likes of Robbie Lawler, Rafael dos Anjos and Dong Hyun Kim, among others.
After relinquishing the belt to Usman in a lopsided loss at UFC 235, Woodley returned to action for the first time in more than a year at UFC on ESPN 9, where he dropped another clear-cut decision against Gilbert Burns on May 30. Prior to that, Woodley had four successful title defenses at 170 pounds from November 2016 to September 2018.