was one of the first fighters to feel the effects of
the coronavirus pandemic.

Initially scheduled to square off against Leon
in the UFC Fight Night 171 headliner in London on March
21, Woodley’s bout was postponed as the disease began to take
effect all over the world. At one point, the former welterweight
champion was reportedly in talks for a grudge match with former
American Top Team stablemate Colby
, but nothing would come of it.

With the UFC’s next event now slated for May 9, Woodley is still
without an opponent. And while Dana White revealed what is expected
to be the full lineup for that card, Woodley is hopeful that me
might get a chance to compete at the event. If not then, the sooner
the better.

“I want to fight sooner than later. One, because I think it’s a
chance that a fight can go down May 9. And then they might have in
their mind, OK May 9 we’re gonna do a card, May 16 we’re gonna do a
card and then they’re gonna do a fight each weekend,”Woodley told
TMZ Sports on “The Hollywood Beatdown.”

“At any point the government can come down and smackdown and say
no, stop…I feel like fighting May 9 makes the most sense. I’ve been
holding on to this conditioning, this training, dieting, my weight
— I’ve been holding it for four months. So I want to whip some
ass…I think this is gonna become my new normal…so I’ll keep this
conditioning up, so it would be dope to have this hard work pay

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Woodley has not fought since relinquishing the 170-pound belt in a
loss to Kamaru
at UFC 235 in March 2019. “The Chosen One” captured
welterweight gold with a first-round knockout of Robbie
in July 2016, and after retaining the title in a
majority draw against Stephen
at UFC 205, successfully defended the belt against
Thompson, Demian Maia
and Darren

It’s a resume that he believes should have earned him an immediate
rematch against the champion, although that was never a serious

“But in reality, I should have been fighting Usman,” he said.
“There’s no way you can be a world title holder for three years,
have four title defenses, have one bad night and not get an
immediate rematch. I feel like what I did in the sport should have
warranted that. Even if it wasn’t a good performance. I don’t even
remember the fight, to be honest.”

In the UFC landscape, there seems to be more interest a
Woodley-Covington matchup. Woodley was supposed to face Covington,
then the interim champion, at UFC 228, but “Chaos” was unable to
compete at the event after undergoing surgery to correct a nasal
issue. Covington was stripped of the interim belt, and Woodley made
short work of Darren Till
instead. Since then, Woodley and Covington have circled each other
in the media, but nothing concrete has ever come to fruition.

Woodley still has his doubts that Covington will ever be willing to
face him.

“The classic theme and the common denominator is Colby is never
going to be ready to fight me,” Woodley said. “There’s reasons why
he’s asking the UFC for $2 to $5 million to fight me and he’s never
been paid that collectively in his entire career. But to fight me,
he needs to be paid so much more because he knows he’s going to

Rather than concerning himself with a specific opponent, Woodley
would rather just have an active conclusion to 2020. Woodley fought
just once in 2018 and 2019.

“I don’t care at this point. I’m seeking performances. I want to go
out and put three or four crazy performances this year where people
are like, “What the f–k did he do to Tyron.” …I’m willing to fight
anybody at this point.”

Woodley thinks the coronavirus-mandated delay in the UFC’s
scheduled has created an interesting opportunity for both the
promotion and its athletes in the coming weeks and months.
Woodley’s presence would only serve to raise the profile of a card
that is shaping up to be one of the UFC’s deepest in years.

“I talked to my manager… we were pushing to get on that [May 9]
card,” Woodley said. “It’s a lot of power on that card, to be
honest. I don’t know if they’re trying to divvy out the star

“In my opinion, I would bust mother—ers upside the head with the
biggest, craziest card ever because everybody’s sitting around.
Some people may fight a couple times a month … We only have so many
stars. I think this is the opportunity for stars to be more active
and the opportunity for emerging stars to bust out.”

Help Prevent the Spread of the Coronavirus

Sherdog recommends all readers comply with CDC guidelines and remain as isolated as
possible during this urgent time. Visit the Centers for Disease
Control at or
the World Health Organization at for the latest information on the coronavirus
and learn what you can do to stop the spread.

The U.S. Government is providing tax relief for you due to the
economic effects of the coronavirus. H&R Block helps you find
out what tax savings you qualify for by clicking here.