Colby Covington’s main event backup role may not have been a big deal earlier tonight (Sat., Mar. 18, 2023) at UFC 286 live on ESPN+ PPV from inside The O2 in London, England, but “Chaos” sure made his presence known following the conclusion of Leon Edwards’ main event title win over Kamaru Usman (scorecard HERE).
Many were caught off guard on Friday when Covington surprisingly weighed in to be the backup replacement for UFC 286’s trilogy fight between “Rocky” and Usman. Covington successfully made weight, but after things were made official for the main event he was able to sit back and enjoy the London action as a fan.
In fact, Covington received a sizable applause when he entered the arena to sit cageside at UFC 286. “Chaos” was there to see Edwards vs. Usman 3 up close. UFC’s broadcast team even involved Covington in Edwards’ post-fight speech, which promoted the welterweight contender to heckle the British champion from the crowd.
Check it out below:
“I’m going to get back with my coaches. I can’t sit for too long,” Edwards said. “That man sat out for a like a year and a half or two years. He ain’t fought nobody. I might take a little trip to Miami [to UFC 287] and see what those two welterweights are going on with and see what’s going on there.”
After the fight, Covington caught up with UFC reporter, Megan Olivi, backstage to discuss UFC 286’s main event in more detail. According to “Chaos,” Edwards looked like he wasn’t motivated enough after becoming champion. He also suggested some “home-cooking judging” for the main event trilogy.
Check out the interview below:
“Yeah, I didn’t see anything special — I see a guy who isn’t hungry anymore,” Covington said. “It looks like he got the title and he made his money and he’s kind of cashed out. Of course he’s going to get some home-cooking judging — he got his little home affair. But, now it’s time to come see the man — the real champion, the people’s champion, the king of Miami. And, the most important title, Donald Trump’s favorite fighter.”
Covington later offered a more honest breakdown of Edwards vs. Usman 3.
“I don’t think Kamaru won — there was a lot of leg kicks landing, so I know those were adding up,” Covington said. “There were a lot of body kicks — he was probably more active. I’d have to look at the strike counts because I didn’t see what the volume was and who landed more strikes and whatnot, but it was a close, competitive fight.
”Honestly, when I was watching [at the end of the fight] I said, ‘I don’t know,’” Covington continued. “It was a coin toss — anybody’s fight.”
“Chaos” offered a final warning to Edwards following his second-straight win over Usman, calling him out for a clash at UFC 290 this coming July in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“Now he’s going to fight a guy who is going to be in his face, a Southpaw,” Covington said. “Styles make fights and I’m going to finish him on home soil in America.”
Covington, 35, hasn’t competed since capturing a unanimous decision win over rival and former friend, Jorge Masvidal, back at UFC 272. “Chaos” has fallen short on two previous UFC title shots so it’s unknown at this time what the promotion has planned for him. But considering he was asked to be the backup fighter for UFC 286’s main event and came in on weight, UFC may opt to book Edwards vs. Covington next.
For complete UFC 286 results and coverage click here.