UFC Vegas 11: Team Covington And Woodley Both Predicting Finishes

A grudge match years in the making goes down this weekend. The UFC Vegas 11 main event will see the former welterweight interim champion Colby Covington, face the divisions’ former champion, Tyron Woodley.

As well as bragging rights, Woodley will be looking to get back to winning ways after back-to-back losses. The 38 year old lost the title to Kamaru Usman at UFC 235, and then lost to Gilbert Burns at UFC Vegas. Covington meanwhile, hasn’t competed since losing to ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ at UFC 245.

Since failing to win the 170lbs title in December, Covington has left American Top Team, the gym he called home for over a decade. ‘Chaos’ now trains at MMA Masters, where two of his coaches include head coach Daniel Valverde, and his striking coach, Cesar Carneiro.

‘Covington Is Much More Confident Now’

Speaking to AgFight (as transcribed by BJPenn.com), his new coaches discussed Covington’s improvements since joining their gym.

“He has great wrestling, but he couldn’t have control on the ground, he didn’t put the hooks in to finish,” Valverde said. “We are working on it a lot now, mixing judo and wrestling. He changed these technical transitions on the floor. Before, he didn’t control from below, but now the guy is going to take the drop and stay there.

“His head is wonderful, he is a born competitor,” Valverde continued. “Now we have been able to correct some mistakes he made in his career. Woodley was never submitted or knocked out but this time he will. [Colby] is much more confident now.”

Improved Striking

According to Carneiro, it’s not only on the ground where Covington has seen a huge improvement of late.

“He’s not a southpaw, we found out,” Carneiro said. “He is right-handed, and in wrestling he puts his right leg in front to go for the knockout. In training we saw that he never felt comfortable with his right foot forward, so he never knocked anyone out. But now it has changed and everyone will see. Before, when he threw his right hand, he dropped his other hand, which left him open.” 

No Handshake

Meanwhile, Woodley has promised to finish Covington this weekend at the UFC APEX.

“I’m definitely going to punch Colby in the face,” Woodley said on his TMZ show. “Punch him, kick him, knee him, elbow him, knock him out, submit him, wake him up, knock him out again. Then sweep him off the mat with no handshake. Definitely going to punch Colby Covington and I hate to even [say] his name because he doesn’t even deserve to be on our show, but he’s getting a punch in the face.”

Who do you think will have their hand raised at UFC Vegas 11, Colby Covington or Tyron Woodley?

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