MMA Fighting confirmed Tuesday that Tyron Woodley is set to defend his welterweight strap against undefeated contender Darren Till on September 8 in the main event of UFC 228. The fight has yet to be formally signed, sources said.
Covington was the assumed next man in line for Woodley after winning the interim welterweight title last month with a decision victory over Rafael dos Anjos, however, it appears the needs of the UFC’s busy pay-per-view schedule were not willing to wait for him.
Covington underwent surgery on Tuesday to correct a nasal issue, per ESPN, and was not able to make the September 8 schedule for UFC 228.
Dana White, UFC president, revealed to ESPN that Covington’s interim title will now be stripped as soon as Woodley vs. Till is officially underway, a scenario that closely mirrors UFC 223’s lightweight situation with Tony Ferguson.
Woodley (18-3-1) is fast approaching the two-year anniversary of the night he captured the UFC welterweight strap with a first-round knockout of Robbie Lawler in July 2016. “T-Wood” has since defended or retained his title three times: Twice against Stephen Thompson, the first of which was a majority draw; and once with a unanimous decision over Demian Maia. Woodley underwent successful shoulder surgery following the Maia fight and has been out of action since.
Till (17-0-1), meanwhile, emerged on the UFC’s welterweight scene in explosive fashion late last year with a first-round knockout of Donald Cerrone at UFC Gdansk.
The unbeaten Englishman followed up that performance by taking a narrow unanimous decision win over Thompson at UFC Liverpool, although Till missed weight by three pounds for the contest.