UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley has been on the shelf since getting hand surgery, but was last seen in action defending the gold against Darren Till at UFC 228.

A recovering Woodley wants to return to action soon and would prefer that comeback to happen in the first quarter of next year.

“My hand is doing well, healing up nicely,” Woodley said on Instagram Live. “I’m cleared to fight at the top of next year so the UFC is trying to figure out when I’m fighting. We already know who I’m fighting. January, February, March, one of those months. I’m looking at January 26 real closely. It’s kinda close though on my hand so we’ll see. If I can do it, you better believe it’s done. If I can’t do it then we might see me fighting in Vegas on March 2nd or London. I kinda don’t want to fight out of the country but I’m not gonna be trying to pick the location.”

One man Woodley is expected to fight sooner, rather than later is a longtime rival in UFC Interim Welterweight Champion Colby Covington.

Covington recently made claims that he used to beat up Woodley during their days as training partners, but Woodley tells a different story.

“Colby used to be my warmup guy,” said Woodley. “I hate to break the news to you, but I used to pay him to beat him up. 500 bucks a week plus food plus hotel plus rental car plus gun range plus entertainment plus personal trainers, pad work, massage therapy, yoga. I spoiled the little waste of sperm, now all of a sudden he’s bumping his gums.”

There is no word yet on when the two champions could finally meet up, but Covington’s manager in Dan Lambert says the bout could happen at UFC 233.