The UFC have announced that Darren Till will get his shot at the welterweight championship on September 8th. The bout was rumoured to be in the works as I reported here. The welterweight title fight will headline UFC 228, emanating from the American Airlines Center in Dallas.
News came out last week that the UFC were planning a welterweight championship bout for the September card but Colby Covington would not be ready. Covington cited November as a likely return date due to minor injuries.
The UFC were reportedly planning to strip Covington of the interim welterweight belt and make Darren Till the next challenger in his stead. Tyron Woodley confirmed that this was in the works on Ariel Helwani’s ESPN call-in show.
Last night the news broke that Darren Till vs Tyron Woodley is indeed set for UFC 228. Brett Okamoto cited a nasal surgery as the reason for Covington’s inability to fight. His interim title will no longer be in effect as soon as the main event begins.
The reason for the UFC’s urgency to make a 170 pound title fight is no doubt due to the belt’s inactivity. Woodley has not fought since 2017 as he was dealing with a hand injury.
The promotion crowned an interim champion to push an undisputed title fight but with the interim champion out, that belt becomes pointless.
It is worth noting that Woodley has fought all comers during his reign, the people a lot of fighters avoid. The champion had stated that he could be back in action as early as August.
This makes the installing and subsequent vacating of an interim title a little baffling. At best it makes a contendership bout more marketable, at worst it cheapens the belts.
However, politics aside, this is a great fight. Darren Till could be one of the stars of the sport in a few years. Woodley is an elite fighter that can out-strike or out-point some of the best that the sport has to offer. This was the fight to make at 170 pounds.