03 Dec - 
Tyron Woodley has a plan to get Colby Covington to swear off takedowns, and no, it's probably not going to work

Imagine traveling in time back to the year 2011 and telling an MMA fan watching a Strikeforce Challengers show that not only would former college wrestling standout Tyron Woodley be UFC champion some day, he’d also be on TMZ trying to bait future opponents into foregoing any and all takedown attempts in impending title fights.

The first part might have been believable. Woodley did cruise through his competition back then. Of course, he also did it while averaging a couple takedowns per fight, which makes the second part hard to figure.

And yet, here’s the UFC welterweight champ Woodley on his TMZ show “Hollywood Beatdown,” trying to get Colby Covington to agree to a bizarre system of large fines for anyone who so much as touches the other guy’s leg in search of a takedown when/if they fight for the 170-pound strap.

Woodley’s thinking here? Covington doesn’t want to stand up with him. Such is his fear of seeing these hands.

“He is going to be trying to come in close, grab, clinch, takedown,” Woodley said. “I promise you, he will not try to stand up with me.”

But Woodley has a solution. Here he offered to make a “bet” with Covington (who he referred to with a crass nickname that is, at best, seventh grade gym class quality), but the more he explained it, the less it seemed like a bet so much as a financial penalty.

“I’ll bet you $10,000,” Woodley said. “Every single time you touch my leg for a (takedown) shot, you’ve got to pay me 10 grand.

“I’m confused,” Woodley’s co-host replied. “Why would anyone take that bet?”

The way Woodley explained it further, under the terms of his wager, Covington would owe him $10,000 for every attempted takedown, while Woodley would agree to pay $20,000 for every takedown he attempted.

“I want people to see it for what it is,” Woodley said. “You don’t want to see these hands. You don’t want to do nothing but try to out-wrestle me. And at the end of the day, he can’t even do that. So I’m challenging you. No wrestling. You touch my leg, it’s 10 bands. If I touch your leg I’ll give you 20 grand.”

In other words, remember those “gentleman’s agreements” that some striking-heavy fighters used to try to lure their opponents into back in the stand-and-bang era of MMA? It’s like that, only with a financial penalty. And of all people, it’s a former All-American wrestler who’s proposing it.

No word yet from Covington on what he thinks of this idea. But since he tends to rely on takedowns as a centerpiece of his entire game, seems unlikely that he’d agree to a wager whereby, even if foregoes takedowns altogether, he may end up making zero extra dollars for it.

But then, maybe it’s my fault for expecting more coherent financial planning via TMZ.

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