The UFC may feel like Colby Covington is a needle-mover thanks to his polarizing persona. But despite the success he’s garnered for himself that—landing two undisputed title shots in the process—fellow welterweight top contender Belal Muhammad doesn’t think ‘Chaos’ brings all that much to the table.
Colby Covington’s promised title shot not yet official
Immediately following Leon Edwards’ successful title defense at UFC 286 in March, the UFC informed the world that they had already lined their welterweight champion up with his next official challenger. As declared by Dana White, Colby Covington would be next in line for a shot at the undisputed 170-pound title.
“I don’t know when we’ll do it, but yeah, that’s the fight that makes sense,” White said during the post-fight scrum. “And Colby came here, 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.”
Belal Muhammad doesn’t see the hype
To hear the fourth-ranked Belal Muhammad tell it, Colby Covington’s pay-per-view draw is entirely dependent on the man across from him, and whether or not he can spark a rivalry. Former training partner Jorge Masvidal and former champion Kamaru Usman gave him a lot to work with. But, Muhammad believes that Edwards won’t.
“I’ve gone 4-0 since that fight [against Leon Edwards], against Top 10 guys. I think it’s just that Colby—I don’t know—maybe Dana White has a love for him or the UFC sees something in him. I don’t think he’s a superstar,” Muhammad explained in a recent interview with UFC Unfiltered (transcript via MMA Fighting).
“I think that the PPVs he’s sold is because of [Jorge] Masvidal or Kamaru Usman. I don’t think it has anything to do with him.”
Ultimately, Muhammad thinks Colby Covington’s brand of gamesmanship could bring more noise to Edwards’ name if the two men actually end up stepping into the Octagon against one another.
“Leon’s not really a talker. He’s not a trash talker, he’s not a guy that’s big into media. He barely does any media and they know that maybe Colby will try to sell the fight more than him and maybe it will give Leon some type of superstardom,” he said.
“I think they’re trying hard to make him a star by giving him guys like Nate Diaz. They tried to do the Masvidal thing and he just doesn’t know how to take that type of energy and go with it because he’s very quiet and just all too himself.
“He tries to do his talking with fighting. But it’s the entertainment business. You gotta know how to talk, you gotta interact with fans and stuff like that. I just don’t think he does that.”
The UFC has yet to finalize the Edwards-Covington title fight. Number five-ranked Gilbert Burns, who is coming off a win over Masvidal at UFC 287, has demanded to be the back-up fighter once the booking is actually made official. Dana White responded positively to the request, but no new yet as to just when that bout may happen.
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