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

UFC, Colby Covington

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.

UFC Matchmaker: Stephen Thompson – Leon Edwards

The UFC‘s welterweight division is in a very interesting spot at the moment. Just over a week ago, one of the top contenders in the division, Leon Edwards (18-3, 1 NC), made his return. However, the fight ended in a No Contest early in the second round.

After the fight at UFC Vegas 21 was over, Edwards said that he wanted a title shot next. While most of us knew that him getting a title shot was unlikely, Edwards pushed for it. Then we got the news that UFC 261 is being headlined by the rematch between Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal. 

With the title fight booked, it’s now time to try and pair up all of the other top contenders at 170 pounds. Initially, the UFC wanted to pair up Leon Edwards with Colby Covington (16-2). Covington is the top ranked welterweight while Edwards is currently ranked third.

This fight would be a great fight to determine the next challenger for the UFC 261 winner. However, Covington has continued to say that he has no interest in fighting Edwards and wants to wait for the winner of Usman/Masvidal.

In reality, I wouldn’t be surprised if the UFC gives Covington the next shot without him fighting prior. With that, where does that leave Leon Edwards? Well, I think the best fight would be looking at the fifth spot in the rankings and pairing him with Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson (16-4-1).

Will the UFC book Edwards – Wonderboy?

Wonderboy has had to play the role of welterweight gate keeper his last couple of fights. First the UFC gave him Vicente Luque and then they gave him Geoff Neal. Both young and dangerous knockout artists who were being built up as the next top contenders.

However, Wonderboy picked both of them apart. Now, Wonderboy is on the path for another shot at the UFC welterweight title. Wonderboy has been calling for a fight with Leon Edwards and it makes perfect sense to pair these two up now.

In a recent interview with Submission Radio, Wonderboy said that he deserves a title shot more than Edwards. Well, when you consider the competition, it’s hard to argue. This would be a fun and technical matchup that would say a lot about both men.

If Covington won’t take the fight, the UFC should do what they can to book Edwards – Wonderboy.

Leon Edwards seeking May UFC return; who makes sense for him to fight?

Leon Edwards

It’s been just over a week since UFC Vegas 21. In the headliner, Leon Edwards (18-3, 1 NC) made his highly anticipated return against Belal Muhammad (18-3, 1 NC). Edwards was looking for a performance that would show the world he’s ready for a UFC title shot.

In the first round, Edwards looked sensational. His striking looked crisp and he wobbled Muhammad badly with a headkick. However, the second round would end the fight in a way that nobody wanted to see.

When Edwards was setting up a kick, he pushed his hand out and it poked Muhammad badly in the eye. After Muhammad wasn’t able to continue, the fight was ruled a No Contest. After nearly two years away, the UFC return for Leon Edwards ended with no clarity.

Last week, Edwards appeared on The Joe Rogan Experience. He talked about the fact that he was going to go on to finish that fight and the eye poke just delayed the inevitable. Edwards said he has no unfinished business with Muhammad and wants to move forward.

With that, Edwards was seeking a UFC title shot. However, we now know that UFC 261 is being headlined by the rematch between Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal. Edwards told Rogan that he was seeking a May return which would line him up right after that title shot.

Who should the UFC pair Edwards with?

The fight that makes the most sense to me is the fight with Colby Covington (16-2). Covington is the former UFC interim champion and he doesn’t have an opponent at the moment. However, Covington has said he’s only interested in a matchup with Masvidal or Usman. 

In an ideal world, UFC 261 would happen with Covington and Edwards fighting in a title eliminator the next month. However, there are many hurdles to clear for that one. The next logical option for Edwards with be Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson (16-4-1).

Wonderboy has been calling for a fight with Edwards a lot over the last couple of months. This would be a fun matchup and would get Edwards in there with a top guy. I can’t see any other option besides these two for Edwards. It’ll be interesting to see what the UFC decides to do for Leon’s next fight.

UFC: Gilbert Burns wants Colby Covington or Michael Chiesa next

UFC 258 was the night that Gilbert Burns (19-4) had been waiting for. Burns finally got his chance to become welterweight champion and he got to face off against his former teammate, Kamaru Usman (17-1).

Originally, the two men were supposed to fight at UFC 251. However, a week before the fight, Burns tested positive for COVID and the fight was cancelled. Jorge Masvidal (35-14) ended up getting the shot against Usman.

After Usman won at UFC 251, the fight between him and Burns was tentatively scheduled for December. However, Usman needed additional training time due to some lingering injuries and Burns was asked again to wait.

Finally, last month, Burns got his shot. The fight couldn’t have started any better for Burns. Burns landed a massive shot that briefly put down and hurt the welterweight champion. It looked like it was going to be the crowning moment for Burns.

However, after that big shot, the fight drastically changed. Usman regained his composure and Burns looked uncharacteristically tired. The UFC champion started peppering Burns with power shots and ultimately put him down for good in the third round.

UFC return for Gilbert Burns

Gilbert Burns laid in the cage and cried after the referee called a stop to the action at UFC 258. All of the waiting just to get off to a fast start before gassing and having Usman put him away in the third round.

It’s no surprise that Gilbert Burns is ready to get back into the octagon. Burns’ manager, Ali Abdelaziz, told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto today that he’s ready to go. The Burns camp has asked the UFC for a fight against either Colby Covington (16-2) or Michael Chiesa (18-4) next.

Covington said this week that he’s wanting a UFC title shot next. However, Abdelaziz (who also reps Kamaru Usman) said that Covington needs to win again before getting a rematch. Of course, this should sit well with Covington considering that Jorge Masvidal is getting an immediate rematch. 

I don’t see Covington being likely for Burns. I do really like the idea of fighting Michael Chiesa. Since moving to the UFC’s welterweight division, Chiesa is 4-0. Chiesa, like Gilbert Burns, used to struggle to make lightweight and has turned his career around at 170 pounds.

Chiesa just defeated Neil Magny back in January and has been nursing some injuries. However, he should be ready to go for his next matchup soon. I think this is likely going to be where the UFC goes. The fight makes perfect sense given where both men currently are.

UFC: Colby Covington wants either Usman or Masvidal next; not interested in Leon Edwards

UFC, Colby Covington

Former UFC interim welterweight champion Colby Covington (16-2) is currently waiting for his next opportunity inside the octagon. The last couple of months have been very frustrating for Covington as he’s seen a couple of opportunities fall through.

Last September, Covington dominated Tyron Woodley. After the fight was over, the UFC spent months trying to book the matchup between Covington and Jorge Masvidal (35-14). However, the fight never got done.

At UFC 258, Kamaru Usman (18-1) successfully defended his welterweight title. After the fight was over, Usman called out Masvidal for a rematch. The champion said he wasn’t satisfied with the way he won the first fight. After that callout, the promotion shifted gears.

Instead of booking Covington – Masvidal, the focus became booking Masvidal in a rematch against Usman. Last night, we learned that UFC 261 is going to be headlined by the Usman and Masvidal rematch in front of a full crowd in Jacksonville, Florida.

What’s this mean for the former interim UFC champion?

In reality, this is actually great news for Colby Covington. Originally, the UFC was looking at booking Usman and Masvidal as the coaches of The Ultimate Fighter. With that, they likely weren’t going to fight until the end of the year.

Covington told Submission Radio yesterday that he only wanted to fight Masvidal or Usman next. He’s not interested in Leon Edwards (18-3, 1 NC) and believes Edwards should fight Belal Muhammad again after what happened at UFC Vegas 21.

If Masvidal and Usman were to coach TUF, Covington would likely be out most of the year if he waited. However, Covington did say he would take a fight if the UFC were to step up and make him a respectable offer.

With the promotion booking this fight for next month, I believe all sides will win here. I believe that Colby Covington is likely going to fight the winner. I wouldn’t be shocked if the UFC still did The Ultimate Fighter with Covington and the winner.

What’s next for Leon Edwards after UFC Vegas 21?

Leon Edwards

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 21, Leon Edwards (18-3, 1 NC) finally got his chance to return to the octagon. Edwards was riding an eight-fight win streak, but hadn’t been able to compete since July of 2019.

Originally, Edwards was supposed to take on Khamzat Chimaev. However, after Chimaev pulled out due to COVID complications, Belal Muhammad (18-3, 1 NC) stepped in. Muhammad had just fought and won at UFC 258 about a month ago.

This was a golden chance for Muhammad to prove that he belonged with the elites of the division. Meanwhile, Leon Edwards was out to show that he was still one of the best in the UFC despite the lengthy layoff.

Early on in the fight, Leon Edwards looked fantastic. His striking was incredibly crisp and he looked very sharp. His pressure was also bothering Belal Muhammad who is normally the one that pushes the pace in his fights.

In the second round, Edwards went to throw a kick and accidentally poked Muhammad in the eye. It was a horrible poke that caused the UFC Vegas 21 main event to be ruled a No Contest. So after that long layoff, Edwards’ return ends with a No Contest.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 21?

Despite Belal Muhammad wanting the rematch, I don’t believe that’s what the UFC will do. This matchup was one of circumstance due to Edwards needing an opponent with just about three weeks time.

Now that the fight is done, I believe the promotion will pair Edwards up with someone near the top. To me, there is one opponent that is perfect for Leon Edwards. That opponent is former UFC interim champion, Colby Covington (16-2).

Covington needs an opponent right now and it doesn’t appear that he’s getting the next UFC title shot. Edwards isn’t getting that shot either so why not pair them up. These guys are number one and three in the world and it makes all the sense that they fight each other next.

UFC: Are the talks between Usman and Masvidal already in trouble?

Yesterday, there was some solid momentum when it came to the direction of the UFC‘s welterweight division. The champion, Kamaru Usman (18-1), and his management met with Dana White this week and laid out what they wanted next. It was clear that they wanted the rematch with Jorge Masvidal (35-14).

Talks were picking up quickly and both men appeared set to not only rematch but coach the next season of The Ultimate Fighter. All of this started coming together after UFC 258. After Usman successfully defended his title, he took to the microphone and called out Masvidal.

The two men fought at UFC 251 and Usman won by decision. However, Usman was not happy with the performance and he wanted to fight him again to prove a point. The point that he wanted to prove was that he could finish the UFC‘s BMF. Masvidal and his management seemed to be down for the deal as well.

However, momentum has seemed to hit a snag today. The champion tweeted out, “I’m not feeling generous anymore. Anyone can get it.” Masvidal then responded with his own tweet saying, “Cold feet when you heard we said yes.” It now appears that the UFC has hurdles to getting this done.

What will the UFC do?

It is unclear at this time what has happened that broke down the talks. The UFC was gearing things up and a deal could have been finalized in the next few days. However, that no longer appears to be the case. There are a number of things that could’ve happened.

One interesting wrinkle to this situation is the Leon Edwards news. Leon Edwards is now booked to fight Belal Muhammad on March 13th. With Edwards taking on Muhammad, that leaves Colby Covington (16-2) without a dance partner. Covington and Usman had arguably the fight of the year in 2019.

When it comes to the UFC, Kamaru Usman holds the most leverage as the champion. Dana White all but said that they will follow what Kamaru Usman wants. If Usman wants to fight Covington next, Covington will be the guy. If it’s Masvidal, Masvidal will be the guy. Both would be worthy challengers to the champion.

For Masvidal, the fight could be billed as the fight we should have seen in July. Both guys on a full training camp to see who the better man is. For Covington, the fight could be billed as the rematch after a classic first fight. Both situations would sell for the UFC.

It’s worth noting that the promotion had a tough time booking Usman – Masvidal the first time. Masvidal actually lost the fight to Gilbert Burns. However, Burns’ positive COVID test brought the fight back to Gamebred. At the end of the day, It all comes down to what Usman wants. Whoever the champ wants, the champion will likely get.

BREAKING: UFC books Leon Edwards – Belal Muhammad

Leon Edwards

The UFC has finally found an opponent for Leon Edwards (18-3). After Khamzat Chimaev had to pull out of their fight again last week, the promotion has been in a scramble to find a replacement for Chimaev.

Dana White said that the UFC was interested in having Colby Covington (16-2) face Edwards. However, Covington has said that he wasn’t interested in fighting Edwards. The promotion then switched gears to other potential matchups in the welterweight division.

Edwards has been anxious and just wants to get back inside the octagon. Well, the UFC has found a willing opponent and Edwards has accepted. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was the first to report that Belal Muhammad (18-3) will be stepping up to take on Leon Edwards.

Muhammad just competed last weekend at UFC 258. but it was a clean win and he took no damage. Muhammad is not wanting to waste any time and he jumped at the opportunity to take on Leon Edwards next month.

The fight will still take place on the original date that Edwards was booked which is March 13th. The fight will also remain a five round main event which is what Edwards was planning on all along.

Big implications in the UFC’s welterweight division

Since 2017, Muhammad is 8-1 in the UFC. His lone loss came against Geoff Neal and that was at the beginning of 2019. Since that loss, Muhammad has gone 4-0 and he’s looked incredibly impressive in those fights.

Muhammad’s striking looked sensational last weekend, but it was his pressure and pace that really stood out. You can be sure that he’s not going to make things easy on Leon Edwards when the two fight next month.

This will be the first fight for Leon Edwards since July of 2019. Edwards has been going crazy trying to get back into action, however, the UFC has struggled in getting him a fight that wouldn’t fall through. Hopefully this one stays together and Edwards gets to make the walk next month.

It will be very interesting to watch how Edwards looks in this first fight back. Will ring rust play a factor here or will he come out looking better than ever? This is a dangerous fight against a guy with a lot of momentum. Should he win, a UFC title shot could be next for Leon Edwards.

UFC: Momentum building towards Usman – Masvidal rematch and coaching The Ultimate Fighter

There is a lot of momentum right now around what’s next for the top of the UFC‘s welterweight division. Last weekend, Kamaru Usman (18-1) defended his title against Gilbert Burns (19-4) in the main event of UFC 258.

Usman put on a brilliant performance and got the finish in the third round. After the fight was over, Usman said he’d fight anybody, but there was one name he wanted more than others. That name is Jorge Masvidal (35-14).

Masvidal and Usman fought back at UFC 251 on short notice. Usman grinded out a decision win, but it’s clear that he’s not happy with the way he won. Masvidal is a massive star and Usman wants to get a finish in the rematch.

The UFC had been trying to book Masvidal against Colby Covington (16-2). The promotion also wanted them to coach The Ultimate Fighter. However, Masvidal was not a fan of coaching the show against Covington. He wanted to fight him, but he didn’t want to coach with him.

Usman is a different story and Masvidal’s management has already told the UFC they’d coach against Usman. This week, per ESPN, Usman and his manager met with Dana White. They made it clear that they want the UFC‘s BMF next.

UFC booking Usman – Masvidal 2?

Usman’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, told ESPN, “Jorge Masvidal is a star, you can’t take that away from him, but we believe Kamaru will go out and put a nail in the coffin this time. Kamaru and Dana sat down and on our end, we’re all for it. Dana is the boss and he makes the decisions, but I think Dana is showing him the respect of giving him what he wants. It makes sense for everybody.”

UFC 251, which was headlined by Usman and Masvidal, did 1.3 million PPV buys. There’s no questioning the star power of Masvidal and I believe that Usman and his reps know it’s the biggest fight for them right now.

There’s also the storyline of how the first fight was on short notice and how a full camp might make things different. Add that to a season of The Ultimate Fighter on ESPN and you have massive potential for the rematch.

There is no deal in place right now, but there is a lot of momentum towards the UFC getting this done. I wouldn’t be surprised if we get official word from Dana White by UFC 259 that Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal will be rematching and coaching TUF.

UFC’s Leon Edwards fires back at Colby Covington: ‘Stop being a b*tch’

Leon Edwards

There is nothing more that Leon Edwards (18-3) wants than to climb into a UFC octagon and compete. The third ranked welterweight in the world has been out more than a year and a half, and it hasn’t been due to injuries.

Edwards was supposed to fight in March of 2020, but COVID shut things down. Then, the lockdowns in England prevented him from getting a training camp. From there, the UFC had trouble getting him a fight.

They finally landed on Khamzat Chimaev (9-0), but between Chimaev and Edwards, the fight fell through three times. Now, Edwards is back at square one while waiting for the UFC to find him an opponent.

After Chimaev had to pullout last week, Dana White said that the UFC was interested in booking Edwards against Colby Covington (16-2). Covington was in talks to fight Jorge Masvidal (35-14), however, it now appears that Masvidal will fight Kamaru Usman (18-1) next.

In theory, it makes sense to book this fight. Covington and Edwards are the second and third ranked welterweights in the UFC. It’s a great matchup, but Covington isn’t into it. Yesterday, Covington said he wasn’t interested in, “Charity work,” in reference to fighting Edwards.

Will the UFC make this fight?

Edwards was interviewed by ESPN’s Ariel Helwani and he issued a response to Covington’s comments. Edwards said, “Stop being a b*tch. Step up, he talks all this sh*t on social media but he doesn’t want to fight. He makes excuses. Stop being a b*tch and let’s get this work.”

As mentioned, this is the matchup that the UFC is wanting to make. Edwards earned a lot of respect with the UFC front office in accepting the Khamzat Chimaev fight. Chimaev was ranked fifteenth while Edwards was third. There wasn’t a ton to gain for Edwards and a lot to lose.

Because of that, White wants to reward Edwards with a big fight. As of now, the plan is to keep Edwards on the headliner of the March 13th Fight Night. They want Covington in this matchup, but there’s still a ways to go in making that happen.