Colby Covington is a ‘dream fight’

He doesn't have a title and he's rarely in the Octagon anymore, but Colby Covington is at least one top ranked welterweight's dream fight.

By: Zane Simon | 2 weeks ago
Colby Covington is a ‘dream fight’
Colby Covington in his fight against Jorge Masvidal. - Louis Grasse IMAGO/ZUMA Wire

Usually, when fighters talk about their dream fights, those aspirations are reserved for combat sports legends. Conor McGregor dreamed of fighting Floyd Mayweather, Anderson Silva dreamed of fighting Roy Jones Jr., every other MMA fighter in existence dreams of fighting Conor McGregor. Well… almost every MMA fighter.

At least one top talent on the UFC’s welterweight roster has his eyes on a different prize. No, not on current champion Leon Edwards. Nor even former champion Kamaru Usman. Not even creative action talents like Stephen Thompson or Kevin Holland. Instead they’ve got their eyes set on former interim champion (and likely upcoming title challenger) Colby Covington.

Ian Machado Garry wants ‘dream fight’ with Colby Covington

Despite competing just three times in the past three years (and holding wins over zero current UFC top contenders) Colby Covington has remained a fixture atop the welterweight rankings. A status built largely on the back of a previous seven fight win streak, victories over three former UFC champions, and a pair of competitive five round fights with then-champion Kamaru Usman. A strange overall record that is both undeniably strong, and seemingly irrelevant to the welterweight division in 2023.

More notably, however, Covington has made a habit of keeping himself in headlines via his regular and ongoing feuds. First against Brazilians, then against Usman, and most recently against his former teammates at American Top Team. It’s that kind of reputation that seems to have Garry targeting ‘Chaos’ for a future encounter.

“Colby Covington,” Garry admitted, when asked who his ‘dream opponent’ would be for St. Paddy’s Day weekend in Dublin in 2024. “…I would love to thump him out. Oh my God! At home!? The only thing that annoys me about that is, I’d have more fun doing that in Miami. In his back yard. Walk into Miami, slap him out in front of all of his fans.

“And I have no problem playing the heel. I have no problem going out there and being the bad guy for a weekend. Because, at the end of the day, when I put him unconscious? I’m gonna have a smile on my face.”

“That would be the dream opponent, in Ireland. To go in there and absolutely starch him. It’d be unbelievable.”

As Helwani was quick to point out however, given the likelihood that the UFC is booking Edwards vs. Covington for a showdown this winter (most likely UFC 295, UFC 296, or UFC 297), chances are incredibly slim that Covington would be in position to take any fight next spring. Still, for Garry, that’s the dream.

Ian Machado Garry picking Leon Edwards to win

As for that likely title fight against Leon Edwards? Ian Machado Garry isn’t picking Colby Covington to walk away with his hand raised. In part, that’s just down to simple MMA math, Covington struggled with Usman, Edwards didn’t. It may also have to do with the fact that Garry and Edwards have apparently spent some time training together and will again soon.

“I’ve obviously never trained with Colby, I’ve only ever seen his fights,” Garry was quick to admit. “The biggest thing that Colby has ever done—and I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again—he’s lost to Kamaru Usman twice. That’s the biggest thing Colby Covington has ever done.

“Leon’s gone out there and knocked out and dominated a fight against Usman. I also think that Usman is a tougher matchup, when it comes to Leon and Colby. I think Leon is so well rounded, so talented on the feet. His grappling and wrestling is so clean. I’ve had the pleasure of training with him, and I will have the pleasure of training with him very very soon again. He’s so good everywhere. He’s so, so good. And I just don’t see where Colby beats him.”

“The only time that I want to see Colby Covington is when I walk into that Octagon,” he added, “and I watch him start to go in there, and I’m like, ‘Yes! Here we go! Let me do something I’ve been dreaming of for a couple of years. Slap him out…’

“He thought he was going to get dropped. He thought he was going to get dropped by the UFC, because he wasn’t interesting. And he brings out this heel character. And it is a fake character, we all know it. And you know what? Fair play to him. He went out and he made himself interesting and he made himself a star. But trust me, I will crack that man so many times, and I will hurt him and I will dominate him in ways we’ve not seen.”

Most recently, Garry is coming off a dominant decision win over Neil Magny—to bring his record to an unbeaten 12-0. Following that victory, Garry called out Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson. However, the former title challenger is currently targeting a fight with Kamaru Usman instead.

UFC president Dana White had hoped to put Garry on the upcoming UFC 295 PPV at Madison Square Garden in New York. However the Irishman has publicly balked at the idea, noting the state’s high tax rate as a reason he’d rather fight elsewhere.

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About the author
Zane Simon
Zane Simon

Zane Simon is a senior editor, writer, and podcaster for Bloody Elbow. He has worked with the website since 2013, taking on a wide variety of roles. A lifelong combat sports fan, Zane has trained off & on in both boxing and Muay Thai. He currently hosts the long-running MMA Vivisection podcast, which he took over from Nate Wilcox & Dallas Winston in 2015, as well as the 6th Round podcast, started in 2014. Zane is also responsible for developing and maintaining the ‘List of current UFC fighters’ on Bloody Elbow, a resource he originally developed for Wikipedia in 2010.

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