Dubai: Colby Covington once kissed President Donald Trump’s hand in the White House earlier this year and if Tyron Woodley was hoping for a show of similar camaradarie then he was in for a huge shock when the arch rivals faced off in the main even at UFC Fight Night on Saturday.
Former teammates, but now bitter enemies it was expected that the long-awaited welterweight fight would result in a war but it did not with Covington (16-2 MMA, 11-2 UFC) bring all the firepower to dominate Woodley (19-6-1 MMA, 9-5-1 UFC) before scoring a brutal fifth-round knock-out.
Having settled one score Covington turned his attention to another former teammate and enemy No. 2, Jorge Masvidal.
“Where’s Jorge Masvidal at?” Covington said during the post-fight news conference. “He needs to come see me for all the talking he’s done. Come see if can walk the walk. I talk the talk and I walk the walk. I want to see Jorge Masvidal in that octagon. I want the best friends turned enemy fight with ‘Street Judas’ Jorge Masvidal.”
The fight with Woodley may have lasted until the fifth and final round but there was a genuine lack of drama even though Covington was the more dominant fighter landing 78-34 significant strikes and 232-67 in total strikes, according to UFC Stats.
Woodley, who now has lost three straight fights looks headed into retirement with even UFC boss Dana White suggesting at it was time he quit the sport after having made a lot of money.
“He was done,” Covington added. “I broke him. In the third round I broke him. He quit. I put vicious ground and pound. He was done. He told his coach he was done and he was looking for a way out. He knew I trapped his arm and I was getting ready to put vicious ground-and-pound on him and he took the easy way out. He would rather be the spineless coward like he is. He got exposed tonight.”
While the main event may have failed to live to the hype and expectations, there were plenty of highlights on the card encouraging the UFC to hand out $50,000 Performance of the Night bonuses to Khamzat Chimaev, Mackenzie Dern, Randy Costa, and Damon Jackson.
Khamzat Chimaev has drawn comparisons to Khabib Nurmagomedov and he showed just why when knocking out veteran middleweight Gerald Meerschaert just 17 seconds into the fight.
Mackenzie Dern also dazzled at the UFC Apex winning her second straight fight by submission, this time against veteran strawweight Randa Markos with a first-round armbar.
And who can forget the Donald Cerrone vs Niko Price fight? The future UFC Hall of Famer Cerrone and Price battled to a thrilling draw after three rounds.
Colby Covington def. Tyron Woodley, TKO (injury) - Round 5, 1:19
Donald Cerrone vs. Niko Price, majority draw (29-27 Cerrone, 28-28, 28-28)
Khamzat Chimaev def. Gerald Meerschaert, knockout - Round 1, 0:17
Johnny Walker def. Ryan Spann, TKO - Round 1, 2:43
Mackenzie Dern def. Randa Markos, submission - Round 1, 3:44
Kevin Holland def. Darren Stewart, split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28
David Dvorak def. Jordan Espinosa, unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Damon Jackson def. Mirsad Bektic, submission - Round 3, 1:21
Mayra Bueno Silva def. Mara Borella, submission - Round 1, 2:29
Jessica-Rose Clark def. Sarah Alpar, TKO - Round 3, 4:21
Darrick Minner def. TJ Laramie, submission - Round 1, 0:52
Randy Costa def. Journey Newson, knockout - Round 1, 0:41
Andre Ewell def. Irwin Rivera, split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Tyson Nam def. Jerome Rivera, TKO - Round 2, 0:34