UFC interim welterweight champion – well, for now – Colby Covington has finally broken his silence after the promotion announced he wasn’t champion Tyron Woodley’s next opponent at UFC 228 next month.

Covington was reportedly offered the chance to unify the two welterweight titles with long-time rival Woodley at UFC 228, but couldn’t commit due to undergoing nasal surgery shortly before the UFC approached him.

Instead, Liverpool’s Darren Till has been fast-tracked to the title picture at 170lbs in Covington’s place. UFC President Dana White has also said Covington’s interim championship will be stripped from him as soon as the Woodley – Till fight begins.

Uncharacteristically quiet until now, Covington spoke to MMAjunkie, claiming the UFC were rushing him into a fight he believed should have been given a big promotional push.

“Why are they trying to rush a camp?” Covington said. “This fight needs a build-up, man. It needs a 12-week promotional build-up.

“Let me get out there and show that I can promote, and I can market fights and sell fights. Because nobody’s selling fights like me. I know how to do that now. These other guys, they don’t know how to do that.

“I wanted the fight, but I didn’t want the date. There was no way I was going to be ready.”

Covington defiantly went on to say Woodley and Till were fighting to be his number one contender.

“It’s only been up for me. I don’t think about the negative in my life. I just think about the positives.

“They’re not stripping anything. I earned that belt. The only way you can take that belt is by beating me in the Octagon, and there’s not a man alive that can beat me. Whether it’s ‘Tyquil’ Woodley or ‘Tillsbury Doughboy,’ I’ll be ready for that No. 1 contender fight.”

UFC 228 is set to take place on September 8th at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.