Title Shot for Colby Covington: ‘He Doesn’t Deserve It’

Colby Covington

Getty Not everyone believes Colby Covington deserves another chance at UFC gold.

UFC star Colby Covington hasn’t officially been handed a welterweight title shot yet against Kamaru Usman, but UFC president Dana White has already revealed the rematch would be the next fight for gold in the UFC’s stacked 170-pound welterweight division. While Usman and Covington seem to be on a collision course, at least one popular welterweight contender continued to argue against Covington getting the next stab at the champ.

Popular UFC welterweight contender Stephen “Wonderboy” Thomspon doesn’t believe Covington deserves another chance at Usman.

“Usman was piecing him up,” Thompson said per MMA Junkie on his “What’s Up Everybody?!” podcast. “Colby Covington was swinging and missing. He was throwing a lot of volume, but wasn’t hitting anything. … I don’t think he deserves it. His last fight was Tyron Woodley.”

Thompson believes the next title challenger to Usman should either be himself or Leon Edwards.

“I don’t think he deserves it, either Leon or myself…,” Thompson said.

Usman and Covington Have Heated Rivalry

Usman defeated Covington by fifth-round stoppage at UFC 245 in December 2019.

Still, Covington remains ranked by the UFC as the division’s No. 1 contender. While his only win since his loss to Usman was against former UFC welterweight champion Woodley, a fighter on a long-losing skid and now out of the UFC altogether, Covington has managed to maintain his spot atop the rankings.

UFC 245: Usman vs. Covington was a stirring back-and-forth brawl, one White has called repeatedly since witnessing it one of the best fights he’d ever seen live.

He’s seen plenty of them, so the epic fight plus the heated rivalry seems to have caused White and the UFC to lean Covington’s way pretty hard as far as Usman’s next fight goes.

On the other hand, Thompson and several other notable welterweight contenders do have an honest gripe about the matter.

The first fight was solid, but Covington hasn’t competed in the UFC all that much since, and nothing he’s done inside the Octagon really screams out that he deserves the title shot over the other contenders.

Thompson, Burns Hope to Prove Worthy of Title Shot at UFC 264

Thompson is taking on Gilbert Burns in the co-main event of UFC 264 on July 10. Thompson has twice challenged for UFC titles in the past, but the 38-year-old has yet to face Usman.

A victory over Burns would give Thompson something Covington doesn’t have right now: a victory this year over one of the top five contenders in the division.

Still, Thompson isn’t nearly a sure-thing vs. Burns, and Burns would probably slot in somewhere behind Covington to face Usman next due to the fact that he just lost to Usman about five months ago at UFC 258.

Burns enters his UFC 264 battle ranked No. 2 in the division, and Thompson is ranked No. 4. That the winner wouldn’t get the next crack at Usman or even Covington for that matter after taking on each other seems a bit out of place.

Edwards Rounds Out Deep Field of Top Contenders

The other notable name that probably deserves a title shot at 170 pounds right now is Edwards. Edwards, 29, from England, is No. 3 in the UFC’s welterweight rankings, and he’s one of the most complete fighters in the sport.

Since losing by decision to Usman way back in 2015, Edwards has stormed his way to a 10-fight unbeaten streak in the UFC.

Moreover, Edwards is coming off the biggest win of his career at UFC 263 last month over UFC superstar Nate Diaz.

While Diaz badly hurt Edwards in the final round, the popular UK star also won just about every other minute of the fight to prove he’s the better fighter.

Usman is one of the most dominant champions the sport has ever seen, but there are plenty of worthy contenders rising through the ranks to challenge him.

Sure, he’s already defeated some of them, including Covington, Edwards, and Burns, but that hasn’t kept each of those three fighters from having a solid case for deserving another go at the champ.

Then, of course, there’s Thomspon, who believes he should be in the mix for the same and has the record to prove it.

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