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08th Sep 2018

Darren Till already knows his first title defence if successful at UFC 228

Dana White has confirmed who's next in line for the welterweight title

Darragh Murphy

Whoever walks away from Dallas with the welterweight title already knows his next fight.

Tyron Woodley will put his 170lbs strap on the line in Texas this weekend against undefeated Brit Darren Till and bookmakers are now leaning towards the title changing hands in the main event of UFC 228.

Liverpool’s Till is currently 7/10 to claim UFC gold at the first time of asking and ‘The Gorilla’ has already been made aware of his first title defence if successful on Saturday night.

While Kamaru Usman weighed in on Friday as a potential replacement for Till if he missed weight, ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ is not next in line for the championship.

UFC President Dana White has revealed that former interim welterweight champ Colby Covington will be next up for the winner of Saturday’s main event.

“Colby Covington is going to get the next shot,” White told BT Sport. “But Usman got the opportunity because Covington was hurt.”

Covington claimed the interim 170lbs belt with a unanimous decision victory over Rafael dos Anjos in June but ‘Chaos’ was stripped of the title because he was unavailable for the UFC’s targeted unification match-up with Woodley at UFC 228.

Nasal surgery ruled Covington out of the bout and his loss is very much Till’s gain.

Another contender who will be watching UFC 228 with great interest is Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson, the former title challenger who came up short against Till in Liverpool five months ago.

Thompson knows that his chances of fighting for the belt again would greatly improve if Till comes out on top against Woodley because ‘Wonderboy’ has already fought Woodley on two occasions.

After losing a razor-close decision to Till on Merseyside, Thompson feels like he will be right in the conversation if the Scouser gets his hand raised in Dallas.

“If he (Till) goes out there and does what I know he can and if he is smart about it, he can win. And that would set me up perfectly, I would think, for another rematch,” Thompson said on the Ariel Helwani MMA Show.

“Of course you got guys above me. Colby Covington might get the next shot and you got Usman moving up the rankings. You got those guys, but I feel like I won that last fight against Till an I think a lot of fighters agree with me. If he does win, I would love to have that rematch.”