Colby Covington doesn’t want to hear any more complaining about his potential next title shot.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight titleholder, Leon Edwards, is still basking in the glory of his first successful title defense over Kamaru Usman at UFC 286 earlier this month (March 18, 2023). “Rocky” has been given no time to rest, however, as his next opponent has already been declared as Covington by UFC President, Dana White.
Other top contenders such as Belal Muhammad have expressed their frustrations with the promotion’s apparent next direction atop 170 pounds. Despite his nine-fight unbeaten streak and status as the No. 4-ranked contender, Muhammad is instead being matched with the rising contender, Shavkat Rakhmonov. Covington isn’t bothered by the complaints and wants to make it clear exactly why he’s the rightful next in line.
“All the UFC brass, they’ve all said the same thing. I’m fighting for the world championship, the undisputed world championship this summer,” Covington told Michael Bisping. “Whether Leon shows up and fights in it or not, that’s gonna be his decision. If he’s afraid to fight and he doesn’t want to fight me because I’m the hardest match up in the division, and the most worthy guy.
“Let’s talk about facts,” he continued. “I’m the next contender in line that he hasn’t fought. I draw the biggest numbers in the division so it’s the biggest opportunity for him. I’m obviously the best-looking fighter in the division, no one can debate that. All my credentials adds up. It’s gonna happen.”
Covington last fought in March 2022, defeating his bitter rival, Jorge Masvidal, via a dominant unanimous decision (watch highlights). The win got “Chaos” back in the win column after his second career attempt at capturing undisputed UFC gold opposite the aforementioned former titlist, Usman.
Similarly to Muhammad, Edwards’ title shot was long overdue in the minds of many. Towards the tail-end of his time as a top-ranked contender, Edwards was matched with a rising undefeated contender, Khamzat Chimaev, on multiple occasions. The fight never materialized for several reasons and some apparent politics became prevalent. Therefore, acting as a swift reminder from Covington that the Brit should be careful with how he approaches this unraveling situation.
“Look at last time Leon tried to cross his boss and act like he makes the calls,” Covington said. “He was removed from the rankings. The guy sat out two years. Didn’t fight for two years. Said, ‘Oh, I deserve a title shot, I deserve this, I deserve that.’ Dude, you’re on a winning streak because you’re beating regional-level fighters. Until you get some high-profile wins, main event spotlights, former world champions, world champion big main event fights, don’t be complaining and ask for stuff that you don’t deserve.
“He just found out the hard way that he doesn’t call the shots in the UFC,” he concluded. “He shouldn’t cross the boss. He should listen to the company. He should be a company man like Colby Covington.”