Until he hears differently from UFC, welterweight champion Tyron Woodley is going to continue to prepare to face Nate Diaz on Dec. 30 at UFC 219 in Las Vegas.
Woodley has publicly challenged Diaz over the past week to accept the fight and revealed that UFC approached him with an offer, which he says he accepted and signed the contract. Diaz, however, who has not fought since a close decision defeat to Conor McGregor in their August 2016 rematch, hasn't reciprocated.
"[Diaz] said there wasn't enough time," Woodley told The MMA Hour on Monday. "He said I was a welterweight, he's a lightweight, even though he's fought at welterweight before and he fought Conor at 'welterweight.' It sounds like a lot of excuses to me, but you know what, I'm not going to call out a man.
"Maybe there wasn't enough money on the table. I can't go on record because I don't know for 100-percent sure, but I believe part of them trying to go back to him and ask him about the fight again, they would have to go with more money. Because if you call and ask him with the same money, the same date, the same opponent, and you don't have more money, then you're basically just asking him again and he's already said no. So hopefully they offer him a crap-load of money and we get the fight done."
While waiting to see officially what's next for him, Woodley (18-3-1) hasn't held back in sharing his opinion of controversial welterweight contender Colby Covington, who called out the champion after his October victory over Demian Maia.
Covington (13-1) made plenty of enemies after defeating Maia, when he called the home Brazilian crowd as "filthy animals." Last week in Australia,and pressed charges for assault via boomerang.
Woodley, 35, who has made three defenses of the title he won by knocking out Robbie Lawler in 2016, simply called Covington's behavior of late "embarrassing" and a disgrace to MMA. He also dismissed him as a legitimate contender.
"When I'm looking down the scope and I'm looking through my sniper rifle, [Covington's] not in the crosshairs," Woodley told MMAFighting.com on Monday. "There's so many other fighters that are right in that mix that I'm looking at. There's guys who are fighting, maybe rematches and former champions from different divisions, and people who are really running through it. There's a lot of hungry guys, and he's in that category with guys like Darren Till, Kamaru Usman. He's right in there.
"The difference between them and him: Those guys are doing it with their gloves. They're doing it with their actions. He's just thinking that he's supposed to talk his way into a title shot, and it's sad that our sport does that."
Covington has repeatedly made mention to a sparring session at American Top Team in Florida where he forced the champion to quit. Woodley simply laughed off Covington's memory of what happened.
"I like to let the things in training camp stay in training camp, but his [story] is so hilarious, [with] how many eyewitnesses [we had], so much video," Woodley said. "Like, I don't know if he remembers that my gym is camera-ed, so there's so many videos that show the training. It's just funny that he would just go on this rant, because he knows. I told him personally. ... 'Do whatever you want to do with it. If this how you feel like you need to make your name, have at it, do what you need to do.' I said, 'But I'm not going to give you the time of day.'
"He said, 'I'm just trying to build a fight, man. I'm trying to make us both money.' I'm like, 'I'm already making money. What are you talking about? You don't need to help me. I'm making money. I'm making more money on FOX [as an analyst] than you make in fighting, so why would you need to help me out?'"
Covington, who also appeared on Monday's episode of The MMA Hour to explain what happened in his altercation with Werdum, has done his best of late to build a reputation as one of the sport's most notorious heels.
"Fabricio Werdum, you messed up, dude," Covington said. "You messed with Oregon's biggest bad guy and you went about it the wrong way, man. There's a way to go about your business. You can't come in and invade people's personal space because of free speech. Now you're in the hands of the Australian police and I'm onto bigger things: Tyron Woodley."
Covington, a former All-American wrestler at Oregon State, is currently riding a five-fight win streak and is 8-1 since making his UFC debut in 2014. He was a former junior college roommate of Jon Jones and made yet another enemy last week.