Round 1 – Covington throws first to the left and misses. Follows with a high kick that misses. It’s Woodley in the center of the cage, with Covington on the outside. Covington gets the first takedown 45 seconds after Woodley closes the distance with a right hand. Good start for Covington. I’m near the fence and Covington is on guard. Woodley uses the fence to stand up, and I’m in the clinch. No damage suffered for Woodley. They are now separated. Good job of Woodley to break free. Covington is in the center now. Woodley throws on the body a couple of times, but nothing major. Punch to Woodley’s body and Covington responds with a kick to the body. Covington shortens the distance and lands with a hard right hand, which causes them to tip over against the fence. They are playing for the position. Covington lands an elbow on the break. A left hook also touched Woodley in the final 30 seconds. They finish the round mostly staring at each other, but it was a clear 10-9 for Covington.
Round 2 – Woodley comes out shooting the body, but Covington pulls back. Woodley closes the distance and lands a good right hand. He follows with a nice kick to the leg, but Covington responds with a hard kick to the body. A flying knee is thrown from Covington, hard to tell if it has landed, but now they are reiterated against the cage. Covington tries to throw an inside elbow before they break. Covington enters with a straight left that Woodley dodges. Woodley turns outside, and gets a takedown after Covington approaches. But they’re back up, and Woodley has his neck but he’s not trying to do anything. Covington is out of the grasp and elbows off the break with 2 minutes remaining. Covington is active throwing 1-2 combos that keep Woodley at bay, although he finds a body uppercut. Woodley complains of a low blow, but the action continues. Nice body kick from Covington, but Woodley shakes him off. Woodley jumps off the fence with his right hand landing. Covington goes left high kick in a right hand which finds Woodley’s face. A flying knee lands on the body before a late left hand from Woodley. It was a close round at the start, but Covington split late and took the 10-9.
Round 3 – Covington comes out active again, but there is a first glance against Woodley that stops the action. Woodley asked for a towel and the doctor checks it. It is examined. He has a towel and wipes his eyes. Woodley saw fit to continue. They start again with 4:36 left. … Woodley’s corner asks to advance, but it’s Covington who keeps going first. Woodley, however, scored a counterattack that led Covington to close the distance and clinch the victory. They are back against the cage, but not much happens between them as they fight for position. They are still hooked with 2 minutes remaining. Covington is scoring with some light knees to the thigh, but this is essentially a wrestling stall against the fence. That’s enough action, though, for them not to be separated. I’m still in this position with 1 minute remaining. They walk away from the enclosure briefly but are immediately back there after a few seconds. With 15 seconds left they break and Covington lands with a high elbow. End of the round. 10-9 again Covington. Woodley remains hesitant with his offense.
Round 4 – Covington throws a header that partially lands and Woodley is immediately against the cage. Covington is the aggressor and changes levels near the fence, and there they are again conquered. Covington takes the takedown with 3:30 remaining, and is in first position on the mat. Covington is on guard and throws punches as Woodley hangs on his head. Covington is content to score only with shots. Woodley is open around his right eye and Covington is increasing the volume of earth and pound. Woodley is in a bad situation now, with nowhere to go against the cage. That’s all Covington now: punches to the body, punches to the head, even if they’re not that hard, they’re all landing and scoring. Dominant turn for Covington. We go 10-8.
Round 5 – There is no doubt that Woodley has to go all out here, but that’s not the case in the first 40 seconds. Covington shoots again and they are back against the cage. Covington lifts Woodley and they fall to the carpet. Woodley has a guillotine, but Covington works. Woodley screams in pain, moaning about his rib, and that’s it. The referee intervenes and stops him. Covington wins by TKO. A dominant overall win for him. Shout out for Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal.
Result: Colby Covington def. Tyron Woodley via TKO (injury) – Round 5, 1:19
Recap: UFC on ESPN + 36 results: Colby Covington defeats Tyron Woodley, wins by injury TKO
Photos: UFC on ESPN + 36: The best photos of Las Vegas
Record: Colby Covington (16-2 MMA, 11-2 UFC), Tyron Woodley (19-6-1 MMA, 9-5-1 UFC)
Transmission: ESPN +
Referee: Dan Miragliotta