UFC's Covington only wants Woodley or dos Anjos, promises to retire both

Colby Covington, coming off a win against Demian Maia, is hoping for a UFC welterweight title shot. Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

UFC welterweight Colby Covington believes he has earned the right to fight one of two names in the 170-pound division -- and he's not interested in even talking about anyone else.

Covington (13-1) is on a five-fight win streak, which includes a high-profile win against Demian Maia. The outspoken welterweight has no interest in looking backward, and says he only wants to fight defending champion Tyron Woodley or Rafael dos Anjos.

"The list is really only two," Covington told ESPN's Five Rounds podcast. "That's what I've earned in my career. There are only two fights to make for #NerdBash2018, these nerds I'm going to bash and retire, and that's RDA and T-Woodley. Those storylines are already written."

Woodley (18-3) is recovering from shoulder surgery but is expected to return by midsummer. Dos Anjos (28-9) is widely viewed as the No. 1 contender, but Covington believes the UFC should allow him to leapfrog the former lightweight titleholder.

"Woodley is not a draw. He needs help selling a fight," Covington said. "I'm his money fight. I'm the guy. If he fights me, there are going to be a massive amount of fans who want to see him knock me out. He can be a hero that way, and that's what he wants to be. He's trying to be a hero, but really he's just a fake and a fraud."

If the UFC pairs Woodley and dos Anjos together, the 29-year-old Covington doesn't really have a backup plan.

The division is not short on talent. In addition to Covington, several intriguing contenders emerged in 2017, including Darren Till, Kamaru Usman, Santiago Ponzinibbio and Mike Perry.

For now, Covington isn't interested in a single one of them. When asked for his thoughts on each individually, Covington claimed to not know who they were.

"Before Woodley got his title shot -- and he didn't even have the credentials I have -- he sat out for two years waiting for a title shot," Covington said. "I'm not gonna be a b---- like Tyron Woodley. I'm not going to sit out two years. But I just fought two months ago. I'm not in a rush to fight. I'm not broke like these dumb fighters out here.

"We'll see how the welterweight title picture plays out. I'm not looking backwards, only forwards."

In the meantime, Covington is living in a dorm room at his home gym -- American Top Team, in Coconut Creek, Florida -- and training regularly.

Woodley, 35, used to train out of the same gym. According to Covington, Woodley's experience while there is part of the reason he's not interested in a potential fight.

"I completely broke him," Covington said. "I will take his soul in that Octagon and he will never fight again, mark my words. I guarantee it. You heard it here first. I completely dominated and owned him and he knows that. That's why he's avoided me."