Colby Covington will be at UFC 261; willing to be the backup fighter for the main event

UFC, Colby Covington
Jun 9, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; Colby Covington (blue gloves) defeats Rafael Dos Anjos (red gloves) during UFC 225 at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Colby Covington (16-2) has been waiting patiently for another shot at the UFC welterweight title. The former interim welterweight champion last fought back in September when he dominated Tyron Woodley.

After the fight was over, the UFC attempted to book Covington against Jorge Masvidal (35-14). The promotion wanted the two to fight and coach The Ultimate Fighter. However, a deal never materialized.

Then, after UFC 258 where Kamaru Usman (18-1) called out Masvidal, the promotion shifted gears. We learned that UFC 261 was going to be headlined by the rematch between Usman and Masvidal. 

The two men fought back at UFC 251 and Usman won a unanimous decision. However, Usman was far from pleased with his performance and it eats at him that Masvidal has the excuse of taking the fight on short notice.

Because of that, Usman asked the UFC to run things back and the promotion agreed. That of course left Colby Covington without a fight. However, despite not having a fight booked, Covington is training as if he’s in camp.

Covington the UFC 261 backup?

Colby Covington believes that he is the next in line to face the winner of UFC 261. When looking at the division, it would make sense to have Covington fight the winner. Either fight would be massive for the promotion.

However, with how crazy things have been over the last year, Covington is staying ready. The former interim UFC champion told The Schmo this week that he is going to be in Jacksonville for UFC 261 and he will be ready if someone falls out.

Covington said, “I’ll be showing up for that fight. I’ll be there ready if anybody pulls out, I’ll be stepping in… I’m staying ready. I got my weight under control and I’m training as if I’m fighting on April 24th for the world title.”

It is definitely nice for the UFC to have a quality backup option like Covington. Should anything happen to either Usman or Masvidal, the event would still be massive with Covington sliding into the main event.