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)