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Leon Edwards Colby Covington UFC

(Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

Leon Edwards says Colby Covington will not get a title shot

Leon Edwards Colby Covington UFC
(Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

Leon Edwards says Colby Covington will not get a title shot

UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards defended his belt against Kamaru Usman at UFC 286 and is now in need of a new title challenger. At the UFC 286 post-fight press conference, UFC President Dana White stated the opportunity would go to former title challenger Colby Covington; however, ‘Rocky’ voiced his disapproval of that idea on the MMA Hour.

“I definitely have a say,” Edwards said. “Listen, he ain’t getting a title shot next fight. Look at the road I had to take to get there. There’s no way you’re getting beat twice by the guy that I just beat twice, went out and beat Masvidal, and then sit out for a year and a half, not even tweeting or nothing, just go missing for a year and then randomly pops up at the weigh-ins and it’s like, ‘OK, he’s fighting for the title next.’ It makes no sense at all, so let’s see how it plays out. He has to go out there and earn his way like I had to do.”

Quote via MMA Fighting

Covington has held a position at the top of the welterweight division for a while now. The issue is that he has failed to become champion in his two attempts against Usman. Outside of impressive showings in those fights, Covington has not done much to earn another title fight. In fact, his only win over a currently-ranked welterweight came over a year ago against Jorge Masivdal. Still, the eye test says Covington is one of the most talented fighters in the division.

Edwards also voiced that Covington has been on the beneficial end of ‘Dana White privilege’.

“Khamzat [Chimaev] and me were calling each other out for years,” he said. “This is a guy that I got matched up with three times in a row. I took the [Chimaev] fight and [Covington] didn’t take the fight and he’s getting rewarded for not taking the fight. When it was me, I got removed from the rankings. So ‘Dana White privilege’ is definitely real.”

Quote via MMA Fighting

To replace Covington, Edwards has his eye on UFC 287, which features a co-main event between Jorge Masvidal and Gilbert Burns. If Masvidal is able to get a win over Burns, Edwards will likely angle for that fight which would allow the pair to settle their longstanding beef. If Burns come out victorious, it would be far harder for Edwards to pivot off a fight against Covington.

The title challenger debate between Covington and Masvidal leaves talented fighters like Burns, Belal Muhammad and Shavkat Rakhmonov on the outside looking in. That is especially tough for a fighter like Muhammad that is on a nine-fight unbeaten streak. Still, one of those fighters is likely next in line once Covington or Masvidal gets a title shot.


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