Dana White: Colby Covington next in line to fight Leon Edwards
Leon Edwards defended the UFC welterweight title against Kamaru Usman just hours ago and the UFC already has his next fight lined up. UFC President Dana White announced at the UFC 268 post-fight press conference that the UFC is aiming to book Edwards against former title challenger Colby Covington.
“I don’t know when we’ll do it, but, yeah, that’s the fight that makes sense,” White said at the postfight press conference. “Colby came here and cut weight and did everything to be here for this fight. He deserves the fight – not to mention the fact that he’s the second- or third-best guy in the world.”Quote via The Score
Covington has fought for the UFC welterweight title on two occasions. In both efforts, he came up short against former champion Kamaru Usman. Albeit, he put up great showings in both outings.
There is a fair share of controversy surrounding Covington getting the next title opportunity. Outside of his fights with Usman, Covington’s only current ranked win is against Jorge Masvidal. The remainder of the division has other potential challengers too. Fighters like Belal Muhammad and Shavkat Rakhmonov have interesting cases. Plus, Gilbert Burns and Jorge Masivdal are set to fight at UFC 287. The winner would have a compelling case. That is especially true for Masvidal who has a long history with Edwards.
Although, when it comes to booking high-level UFC fights one thing holds true. If it makes money, it makes sense. Edwards vs. Covington passes that test. In comparison to other big-name welterweights, Covington is the biggest draw. If there is one person to make that statement false, it would be Masvidal. We may have an interesting predicament on our hands.
Edwards has been very dismissive of Covington fighting for the next title fight. In his octagon interview, he said that Covington did not deserve that fight. He doubled down on that opinion at the press conference.
“I don’t know how that makes sense,” Edwards said at the UFC 286 post-fight news conference. “He hasn’t fought for over a year-and-a-half. Sat out. Not injured. I don’t get how he just slides in for the world title shot when there’s other guys in the division that have been active and fighting. Didn’t sit out. I’m the king now. I’ve earned my way, so I feel like I should decide who’s next.”Quote via MMA Junkie
A potential bout between Edwards and Covington would be an interesting stylistic clash. Covington’s wrestling could cause Edwards serious issues. At the same time, Edwards has spent two consecutive training camps preparing for Usman, an elite wrestler.
White also dropped another piece of news at the press conference. In lieu of Edwards vs. Covington, the UFC is looking to book surging contender Shavkat Rakhmonov against Belal Muhammad. The UFC president did not state the date that the fight would take place, however. It is a banger nonetheless.
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