If you take a glance at the promotion’s 170 rankings, you’ll see that Stephen Thompson is ranked #1, RDA is #2, and Covington is #3. Since Woodley’s already fought Thompson twice, the chances of the latter locking up a third title fight right now, are extremely slim.
Dos Anjos, meanwhile, worked his way to a dominant, decisive win over Robbie Lawler last month, in a bout that Dana White initially said was a title shot eliminator. Covington, on the other hand, has been making a ton of headlines, due to a five fight winning streak, and various, controversial statements he’s made in recent weeks.
Well, recently Woodley spoke with MMA Fighting about his next bout, and the powerful fighter had this to say about RDA and Covington:
“I’m looking forward to fighting people who their brands are larger than mine. I’m not looking to bring somebody up,” Woodley said. “I’m in a position where I did that already. I’ve already sought out to fight the guy with a brand, so that I could project myself and bring myself up. I’m just not interested in promoting other people, man. I worked so hard to self-promote myself. I don’t have no agent. I’m out there in these streets and I’m hustling. Until someone can show me they’re doing the same thing or truly deserve the No. 1 contender, I’m good.”
So, unless Woodley backs off this stance, it sounds like it will take the likes of Georges St-Pierre, Conor McGregor, or say, Nick Diaz, to get him back in the Octagon. There’s also the possibility that the UFC asks RDA to fight Covington in a title shot eliminator, and if one of them scores a big win, then maybe Woodley would change his mind. Especially if more and more fans pressure him to fight the winner.
Of course, there’s also a chance that Woodley eventually decides to fight either dos Anjos or Covington, if no offers to fight anyone else with a bigger “brand” comes in. As it stands right now, unless GSP decides to take another run at the 170 title, Woodley might not have many other options.