Years after it seemed Colby Covington and former teammate — and then-welterweight champion — Tyron Woodley were on a collision course, the two finally met in the main event of UFC Fight Night on Saturday. Covington dominated the action from the opening bell, with Woodley offering little resistance before suffering a rib injury in the fifth round to award Covington the TKO victory in Las Vegas’ UFC APEX.
While the ending was brought upon by injury, nothing should be taken away from Covington, who was firmly in control of the action. Covington switched between landing strikes at distance, controlling the clinch against the cage and dominating on the ground after takedowns.
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A Covington takedown early in Round 1 seemed to remove Woodley’s willingness to throw his dangerous overhand right. Woodley’s hesitation allowed Covington to operate safely in every facet of the fight. Later in Round 4, Covington scored with a takedown and finally fully opened up with strikes. A big left elbow opened a nasty cut under Woodley’s right eyebrow, sending blood streaming into both of the former welterweight champion’s eyes. Woodley was left with no answers, choosing to remain in the position while Covington piled 100 more strikes landed than Woodley in the frame.
Early in Round 5, Covington again pushed the action into the cage and worked for a takedown. Woodley seemed to be trying to lock in a guillotine choke, but as the men battled over position, Woodley suddenly screamed that he had hurt his ribs and the fight was stopped by the referee at the 1:19 mark of the round.
It was the third straight fight where Woodley was unable to find any effective offense, having been dominated in five-round fights by Kamaru Usman and Gilbert Burns in his outings prior to the long-awaited clash with Covington.
After his victory, Covington immediately demanded either a rematch with welterweight champion Usman or a bout with another former teammate in Jorge Masvidal. The win over Woodley was Covington’s first fight since losing to Usman this past December while challenging for the welterweight crown.
Elsewhere on the card, Donald «Cowboy» Cerrone and Niko Price fought to a draw due in large part to multiple pokes from Price. After the fight, Dana White said he thinks it might be time to start thinking about retirement for Cowboy. Cerrone is winless in his last five fights and 4-8-1 since 2017. Meanwhile, Khamzat Chimeav continues to do nothing but impress after smashing Gerald Meeraschaert with just one punch in a featured bout. The Swede has dominated in his first three UFC bouts and is expected to face Brazilian jiu-jitsu legend Demian Maia in his next contest.
CBS Sports was with you the entire way on Saturday bringing you all the results and highlights from the UFC Fight Night card.
UFC Fight Night card results
- Colby Covington def. Tyron Woodley via fifth-round TKO (punches)
- Donald Cerrone vs. Niko Price ends in majority draw (29-27, 28-28, 28-28)
- Khamzat Chimaev def. Gerald Meerschaert via first-round knockout (punch)
- Johnny Walker def. Ryan Spann via first-round TKO (elbows)
- Mackenzie Dern def. Randa Markos via first-round submission (arm bar)
- Kevin Holland def. Darren Stewart via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
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Covington again pushes Woodley into the cage and scores a takedown. Woodley suddenly screams that he hurt his rib and the fight is stopped. Covington walks around the cage after the stoppage shouting that he wants «his belt» back. Official result: Colby Covington def. Tyron Woodley via TKO (injury), Round 5.
Round 5: Woodley’s corner told him he needs a finish to win, which is entirely accurate and he comes out and moves backward as Covington pressures.
Woodley really did nothing to get off his feet before the end of the round and it’s another clear round for Covington. Unofficial scorecard: 10-9 Covington (40-36 Covington)
Blood is continuing to stream into Woodley’s eyes and Covington is smothering with punches.
Woodley is cut open by a Covington elbow and Covington traps the arm and lands a few big shots.
Covington lands a few right hands and Woodley locks up full guard.
Covington gets his head out of danger and scores a takedown against the cage.
Covington tries to drive for a takedown and Woodley is looking like he might try to attack the neck.
Round 4: Covington comes out with a few kicks and Woodley throws his own kick to the body and leg and again to the body.
They separate with 10 seconds left and nothing else happens. Mostly uneventful round after the eye poke but Covington remains in control. Unofficial scorecard: 10-9 Covington (30-27 Covington)
Covington continuing to hold the clinch, both men landing small strikes but nothing meaningful.
Covington holds Woodley agains tthe cage and lands some short punches to the body and Woodley lands a series of knees to the body as he continues to fend off the Covington takedown attempts.
Woodley continues amping up the aggression, but Covington pushes forward to clinch against the cage.
Action resumes after the doctor checked out Woodley and he comes out aggressively but without landing as Covington cracks with body kicks.
Round 3: Covington pokes Woodley in the eye moments into the round and there’s a break in the action for the foul.
Woodley lands a right hand as the round ends and it was a better round for him, but still not enough. Unofficial scorecard: 10-9 Covington (20-18 Covington)
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Covington lands a right and Woodley comes back with his own right hand that lands clean for his best punch of the fight.
Covington lands a body kick and Woodley comes back with a punch to the body and then a superman punch that lands.
Woodley with a heavy uppercut to the body and he locks Covington up and they clinch against the cage once again.
Woodley has to abandon the guillotine choke set-up and they break back to distance on the feet once again.
Woodley scores with a takedown and grabs onto Covington’s neck as Covington gets back to his feet.
Covington throws a flying knee that misses and then pushes forward into another clinch that Woodley eventually breaks without any significant damage for either man.
Round 2: Woodley opened with a combination but missed the punches and Covington came back with a more effective sweeping hook. Woodley with a heavy right hand that did land seconds later.
The round ends and Woodley did little of anything in the round other than a single right hand. Unofficial scorecard: 10-9 Covington.
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