Despite Dana White’s announcement, welterweight champion Leon Edwards has made it loud and clear that he won’t defend his title against Colby Covington next. “Rocky” first made his statement during the UFC 286 post-fight scrum, then again a few days later with Ariel Helwani at the MMA Hour.
Such matchmaking disagreements would usually end in White giving the “he doesn’t want to fight” retort. But this time, he went in a different direction with his response.
“(Colby’s) got the shot. It’s not like I’m a big, ‘Oh, Colby, Colby!’ Colby Covington deserves a shot at the title. And I don’t blame Leon. Leon just got through Usman, twice, and now he’s looking at another wrestler with a funky style that’s tough to deal with,” White said during his post-fight scrum at UFC San Antonio on Saturday.
“But that’s it. When you become the champ, everybody’s coming after you. All the straight killers are coming at you for three times a f—ng year. You’re faced with nothing but the baddest dudes in the world in your division.
“You’re the man, Leon. You’re the guy. Everybody’s coming after you. It’s going to be Colby next.”
Despite the questioning and disagreements from other welterweights, White once again affirmed Covington’s title shot.
“That was a no-brainer. If Usman doesn’t exist, Colby’s been the champ now, for a while. And he’s been there forever, he cut the weight, he showed up to fill in for that fight, and a million other reasons why he deserves that fight.
“Why would Colby not deserve to fight? Can somebody explain that to me? He got jumped and was actually injured from it. Leon didn’t fight for, like, almost two years. (Colby’s) got the shot.”
Dana White seems to believe that Colby Covington would have been UFC champ if Kamaru Usman didn’t exist pic.twitter.com/PZDscH4Nsr
— Bloody Elbow (@BloodyElbow) March 26, 2023
Covington’s last Octagon appearance happened at UFC 272 in March 2022, when he defeated Jorge Masvidal via decision in their grudge match.
About the author: Milan Ordoñez has been covering combat sports since 2012 and has been part of the Bloody Elbow staff since 2016. He’s also competed in amateur mixed martial arts and submission grappling tournaments. (full bio)
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