Dana White, is standing firm on his decision to have Colby Covington face Leon Edwards for the title.
At UFC 286 earlier this month, Edwards defeated Kamaru Usman in their welterweight title trilogy, solidifying himself as the welterweight titleholder and one of the best in the UFC’s pound-for-pound rankings. Although Covington was the backup fighter at UFC 286, he is expected to receive the next title shot against Edwards.
Typically, White does not immediately make fights following high-profile events, but he deviated from this pattern. Despite Edwards’ disinterest in Covington as a title contender, preferring instead top contenders like Belal Muhammad, White and the UFC are sticking to their plan for the next welterweight title fight.
“Listen, it’s not like I’m a big, ‘Oh Colby.’ – Colby Covington deserves this shot at the title,” White said. “I don’t blame Leon. Leon just got through Usman twice and now he’s looking at another wrestler now with a funky style that’s tough to deal with. When you become the champ, everybody’s coming after you. All the straight killers are coming after you for the next three times a f*cking year, you’re faced with nothing but the baddest dudes in the world in your division.
“If you look at Usman and what he did – Usman ran through that division twice. Usman’s one of the greatest of all time. Leon just beat him twice. You’re the man, Leon. You’re the guy. And everyone’s coming after you, and it’s going to be Colby next.”
“If Usman doesn’t exist, Colby’s been the champ now for a while.”
Dana White responds to Leon Edwards’ claim he’ll turn down Colby Covington.#UFCSanAntonio | Full video: https://t.co/VpwG41qrbu pic.twitter.com/RBV6dqETw4
— MMA Junkie (@MMAJunkie) March 26, 2023
Colby Covington has been out of action since his victory over Jorge Masvidal at UFC 272 last year. Some believe that Masvidal may be able to sway the UFC’s decision and earn himself a title shot with a strong performance at UFC 287.
Nevertheless, despite the outcome of the Masvidal vs. Gilbert Burns fight, White and the UFC seem to be resolute in their decision to grant Covington another opportunity to fight for the UFC gold.
Edwards has expressed reluctance to face Covington as he had to overcome several setbacks before earning his own title shot. This led to a decrease in his activity level from 2020 until now.
The UFC’s welterweight title situation continues to be a point of interest, and it appears that the UFC is prepared to push Edwards towards a future confrontation with Covington.