The rib injury that left Tyron Woodley in a screaming heap at UFC's Vegas 11 Fight Night was much worse than first feared.
Former UFC welterweight champion Woodley's fight against Colby Covington ended after he yelled out in pain about a rib problem in the fifth round of the bout.
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Covington had dominated the previous four rounds, with Woodley needing a knockout finish to have any hope of wining the contest.
The pain for Woodley would only get worse in the final round after he caught Covington in a standing guillotine, only for his opponent to take them both to the mat.
It prompted shouts of "I’ve hurt my rib" from Woodley as the referee promptly stopped the fight and doctors tended to the stricken fighter.
After being helped from the octagon and taken to hospital, Woodley's coach Duke Roufus told Yahoo Sports on his way to the locker room that he thought the fighter tore a rib cartilage.
ESPN UFC reporter Ariel Helwani was later told by the fighter that his rib "popped out" but x-rays showed that it was in fact much more serious.
X-Ray of Tyron Woodley’s broken rib, courtesy of Woodley.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) September 20, 2020
He said it popped earlier in the fight and then tried to use the gulliotine to stand up and it popped. “It was the most pain ever,” he said.
He is back at the hotel resting. pic.twitter.com/onhuYkah0R
Woodley - who has now lost three fights in a row - described the injury as "the most pain ever".
UFC president Dana White suggested after the bout that Woodley should consider retirement.
“I think he should start thinking about hanging it up,” White said. “He’s had a great career. He’s made his money.
“We all get old, man. This happens to the best of us. Woodley’s had a good career. He’s been a champion. He’s been around awhile. He had a good run in Strikeforce, too.”
Covington unloads in pre-fight rant
To make matters worse, Woodley opponent stuck the boot into his rival with some brutal post-fight comments.
Covington, after taking care of Woodley via the fifth-round TKO, also took shots at former Vice President Joe Biden and Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James in a fiery post-fight interview.
He also received a congratulatory call from President Donald Trump, which he took on speaker phone during a media session live on ESPN.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the silent majority is ready to make some noise,” Covington said while wearing an American flag draped around his shoulders. “If you thought that was a beating, wait until Nov. 3 when Donald Trump gets his hands on sleepy Joe. That’s going to be a landslide.”
Covington also criticised the the Black Lives Matter movement and said Woodley was a "communist” who "hates America".
He then took a shot at James and other “woke athletes” after thanking first responders around the United States. Though he didn’t specify why exactly he was mad at James and others, the reasoning is clear.
James and countless other professional athletes across the sports world have been leading a push for social and racial justice in recent months, often kneeling during the national anthem in protest or making other demonstrations.
“[First responders] keep this world safe, not these woke athletes, man,” he said. “I’m sick of these woke athletes, these spineless cowards like LeBron James.”
Covington, after sitting down later for an ESPN interview while wearing his signed “Keep America Great” hat, actually took a call from Trump on speaker phone.
Trump congratulated Covington for his win, though it wasn’t clear if Trump actually watched the bout — he was speaking at a campaign stop in North Carolina on Saturday night.
Covington credited Trump several times for his win, too, saying that after meeting him at a recent rally that there was no way he could lose.
with Yahoo Sports US