After falling short at UFC 296, what’s next for Colby Covington?

MMA: UFC 296 - Edwards vs Covington
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

This past Saturday in the main event of UFC 296, the welterweight title was on the line. Former interim champion Colby Covington (17-4) was looking to finally get over the hump and become undisputed champion as he took on the champion Leon “Rocky” Edwards (22-3, 1 NC).

Covington hadn’t fought since March 2022 when he dominated Jorge Masvidal. In analyzing the matchup, the odds were very close given Covington’s suffocating style. I like Edwards in the matchup, but I saw a path to victory for Covington if he would use a ton of pressure and use his wrestling.

However, he didn’t do anything in the first three rounds. At UFC 296, Covington looked like he had a serious case of ring rust. Edwards was the one pushing the action for the first three rounds and Covington threw hardly anything. He didn’t start getting aggressive until the fourth round.

When Covington put his foot on the gas, he was able to find success. He took Edwards down and controlled him for the majority of the fifth round. However, it was a little too late. His inactivity throughout the early rounds really bit him and he lost a unanimous decision.

What’s next after UFC 296?

Colby Covington talked a big game as usual but once again fell short in an undisputed title fight. While he did once capture the interim title, Covington is now 0-3 in his attempts to become undisputed champion. With the loss, Covington slid to fifth in the UFC’s welterweight rankings.

Following this loss, what’s next for Covington? After the fight was over, Covington expressed some interest in fighting Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson. Wonderboy had lost earlier in the evening to Shavkat Rakhmonov. Wonderboy is currently ranked sixth in the division one spot behind Covington.

Neither man took really any serious damage on Saturday night and they could probably turn around quick. If that’s a fight that’s of interest to Wonderboy, it seems like the perfect fight when you look at the rankings.