UFC welterweight contender Colby Covington is one of the most polarizing figures in sports, but the 170-pound stalwart is one heck of a fighter. Still, many fans might be surprised to find out that Covington is set to be rewarded by UFC president Dana White for his recent inactivity. White told TSN’s Aaron Bronstetor earlier this week that the UFC plans on giving Covington next crack at UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman assuming the 170-pound champ gets past Jorge Masvidal this weekend at UFC 261.
“He’s at a point in his career now where he’s looking at who’s next again,” White said to TSN per MMA Fighting. “He’s coming back and going to be facing guys that he already beat. Obviously, Masvidal took that fight on short notice so let’s give him this fight and we can do away with all the excuses. Then, Colby Covington’s next.”
Covington is currently ranked as the No. 1 contender in the division per the UFC. On the other hand, Covington’s only win since 2019 was against former champion Tyron Woodley, a fighter on a four-fight skid.
More importantly, Covington has seemingly been holding out for the title shot instead of staying busy with the task of proving he’s the best contender. In giving Covington the next title shot at Usman, the company might be sending a message that it rewards those who hold out for specific fights over those who take fights the company offers.
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White Seems to Favor Usman Over Masvidal at UFC 261
White didn’t explicitly state it, but it seems that also means White expects Usman to defeat Masvidal this weekend at UFC 261.
That makes sense. After all, Usman is a big favorite on the betting market and he dominated the first fight between the two stars last year.
Of course, White stopped short in the interview of committing to making the fight happen next. After all, the UFC always seems ready to make moves when the time comes to make the biggest fights possible. But the plan for Usman’s next fight right now is Covington at the present moment.
“Who knows? Anything can happen. Guys get injured, things happen, timing. Who knows, especially in this day and age but that should be the fight [with Colby Covington] that happens next,” White said.
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White Explains Why Usman vs. Covington 2 Makes Sense
Usman stopped Covington in the fifth round at UFC 245 in December 2019.
It was a back-and-forth brawl with a result that seemed to hang in the balance until the last round. White called the first fight one of the best fights he had ever seen and revealed he’s anxious to make the rematch happen.
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“The fight with him and Colby Covington, love him or hate him or whatever your deal is with him, is one of the best fighters in the world. Very, very good fighter, and that fight was incredible. Both guys had to dig deep. It’s one of the best fights I’ve ever seen. Ever,” White said.
UFC 261: Usman vs. Masvidal 2
UFC 261: Usman vs. Masvidal 2 takes place on April 25 in Jacksonville, Florida. It’s the first UFC pay-per-view event to feature a full crowd in the arena in the United States since the global pandemic began last year, and it’s sure to be a blockbuster.
Usman defeated Masvidal by decision in 2020 with no fans in attendance at UFC 251.
The rematch is set for the same venue, VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.
Both Covington and Masvidal live and train in the Miami area. Additionally, Covington and Masvidal were once close friends and roommates.
Now, the stars are bitter rivals. Both have expressed interest in facing each other inside the Octagon someday soon, so Covington might also figure into the UFC’s plans should Masvidal pull the upset over Usman at UFC 261.
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