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: 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.

UFC 261 headlined by Kamaru Usman – Jorge Masvidal 2 in Jacksonville with a full crowd

Huge UFC news has broken this evening. Dana White took to his personal twitter account this evening to announce that the promotion is going to host an event with a full crowd on April 24th.

White announced that UFC 261 will take place in Jacksonville, Florida in front of a full crowd. Jacksonville was the first place to host a UFC event after the pandemic shut things down in 2020 and they will be the first city to welcome back a full crowd.

However, the news didn’t stop there. White also announced that UFC 261 will be headlined by Kamaru Usman (18-1) – Jorge Masvidal (35-14) 2. A rematch from their first fight that took place at UFC 251 on Fight Island.

The promotion has also announced two additional title fights for that event already. Zhang Weili – Rose Namajunas and Valentina Shevchenko – Jessica Andrade will also take place on the April 24th card.

Massive UFC event with fans

It’s huge news that fans are coming back, but it’s perhaps even bigger news that we are seeing the rematch between Usman and Masvidal. Usman just defended his welterweight title against Gilbert Burns back at UFC 258.

There had been talk about the two coaching The Ultimate Fighter and fighting in September. However, that plan was scrapped in order to have these two headline the first UFC event back with a full crowd.

Masvidal will now get his chance to fight Kamaru Usman with a full training camp. Gamebred has maintained that if he had a full camp to prepare for Usman, he would’ve defeated him back in July.

Kamaru Usman looked better than ever last month when he defeated Gilbert Burns. His striking looked sensational and he was able to handle the early onslaught from Burns and finish him in the third round of their title fight.

After the fight was over, Usman called for a rematch with Masvidal. Usman doesn’t want there to be any doubt as to who is the best welterweight in the world. On April 24th, these two will finally settle the argument on who’s the best welterweight in the UFC.

UFC: Jorge Masvidal says rematch with Kamaru Usman is on

The rematch between the UFC welterweight champion and The BMF is on. Well, it’s on at least according to Jorge Masvidal (35-14). Last night, Masvidal broke the news to Boxing Social after his commentating gig at the Canelo Alvarez fight.

Masvidal told the outlet that the matchup between himself and welterweight champion Kamaru Usman (18-1) will take place in September. This fits the UFC‘s ideal timeline factoring in The Ultimate Fighter. A couple of weeks ago, the promotion had serious momentum building towards Masvidal – Usman 2.

However, Usman came out and said he was losing interest and the fight appeared to be in trouble. The promotion was wanting the two of them to be the coaches of The Ultimate Fighter then have their rematch after the season.

The UFC is planning to start the filming of TUF in the early summer. Usually, the show takes about six or seven weeks to film. After that, if you factor in a full training camp, September would sound about right for Usman and Masvidal.

UFC rematch the world wants to see

The two men originally fought last year on Fight Island at UFC 251. In early 2020, the matchup between the two was being hyped before it was finalized. However, the UFC couldn’t come to terms with Masvidal to make the fight happen.

The promotion ultimately shifted to Gilbert Burns. However, when Burns tested positive for COVID, the UFC turned back to Masvidal. The fight took place on one week’s notice and Usman would go on to win a decision.

Given the circumstances of the first fight, the rematch should be an easy sell. Kamaru Usman is a dominant champion while Masvidal is still one of the biggest stars in the sport. The first fight leaves room for clarity considering the short-notice nature.

Now, it appears that the UFC is close to finalizing the rematch for later in the year. It’s going to take some patience from fans considering the fight is months away, but factoring in TUF, the world should be buzzing by the time the rematch actually happens.

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.

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: Kamaru Usman is not on the same level of Georges St. Pierre yet

Recency bias is a huge thing in the UFC. We see it all the time where a fighter will put on an amazing performance and people are quick to say either it’s the greatest performance of all time or a fighter belongs in the GOAT conversation.

It’s always important to take a deep breath and take a step back after those incredible performances. Last Saturday at UFC 258, Kamaru Usman (18-1) defended his welterweight championship for the third time. He finished Gilbert Burns (19-4) in the second round.

Kamaru Usman looked sensational and he showed off that he’s the total package. He’s got incredible grappling and now his striking has progressed to being some of the best in the division. After the fight was over, there was already talk about where Kamaru Usman ranks against the greats.

Part of the reason for this is the fact that Usman’s win on Saturday was his thirteenth straight victory in the UFC‘s welterweight division. That win broke the previous all time record held by Georges St. Pierre (26-2).

GSP is widely considered to be either the greatest of all time or on the short list. His reign in the UFC was truly something special and it’s even more remarkable considering that he walked away at 32 years old. One year younger than Kamaru Usman is now.

Sure, GSP came back and won the middleweight title at UFC 217. However, his welterweight reign came to a close at just 32 years old when he decided to walk away from the sport. Who knows what GSP could’ve done if he would have kept going back in 2013 and stayed motivated.

Is the UFC champ on the same level as GSP?

After Saturday night, there were some people that have staked the claim that Kamaru Usman is on the same level as the UFC hall of famer, Georges St. Pierre. A big point to that argument, as Daniel Cormier said this week, is the competition level.

The MMA game has evolved so much just in the last ten years. Fighters now are better than ever and some believe that the stiffer competition should give Usman more of a bump. Frankly, I agree with that statement.

However, it’s important to remember that Usman just completed his third title defense. Yes, he’s won 13 in a row in the division, but he’s only defended his title three times. There’s something to the pressure of title fights regardless of competition. At his peak, GSP defended the welterweight title nine times.

Overall, St. Pierre was 13-2 in title fights between welterweight and middleweight. In my opinion, the two greatest fighters in UFC history are Jon Jones and Georges St. Pierre. Their body of work cannot be denied and they deserve those spots on the mountain.

Yes, the competition is better than ever now. However, Kamaru Usman has more work to do before he’s on the same level as GSP. Will it take him nine title defenses to get there? I don’t believe so because of the competition level. However, he definitely needs more than three.

UFC’s Colby Covington on potential Leon Edwards fight: ‘This isn’t charity hour’

A week ago, there was a clear plan for the UFC‘s welterweight division. Leon Edwards (18-3) was going to fight Khamzat Chimaev (9-0) in March. The promotion was also working on Colby Covington (16-2) and Jorge Masvidal (35-14).

UFC 258 was headlined by the welterweight title fight between Kamaru Usman (18-1) and Gilbert Burns (19-4). Everything seemed to be setting up for Edwards/Chimaev to fight for the belt next with Covington/Masvidal fighting the winner after they coach The Ultimate Fighter.

However, all changed when Khamzat Chimaev had to pull out of the Edwards fight. After that happened, the UFC starting switching their plans. Dana White came out and said the promotion was looking at booking Leon Edwards – Colby Covington. 

After UFC 258, Usman called for a fight with Jorge Masvidal. That fight and the opportunity to coach The Ultimate Fighter seems to be on the table now. However, Covington isn’t a fan of how this is all shaking out.

According to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, the UFC couldn’t get Masvidal to agree to coaching TUF alongside Covington. He’d fight him, but he didn’t want to coach. That’s where that fell apart, and now Covington is being offered Edwards. He told Submission Radio that he’s not a fan of that option.

What will the UFC do?

“Leon Scott (Edwards) hasn’t earned anything boys. I’m in the Colby Covington Incorporated Championship PPV Business. I’m not in the Leon Scott charity business. This isn’t charity hour,” Covington said to submission radio.

In terms of rankings, a fight between Covington and Edwards does make sense for the UFC. However, I can see where Covington is coming from. Covington fought Usman closer than anyone else has in his recent run.

On top of that, Covington is also coming off of a dominant win over for champion Tyron Woodley. In reality, he has a very strong case for being the next man to challenge Kamaru Usman for the UFC welterweight title.

However, with the champion wanting to fight Masvidal, it appears that Covington will have to wait. The UFC is likely going to keep pushing for the Edwards fight and we should know soon if that fight is a real option or not.

What’s next for Kamaru Usman after UFC 258?

This past Saturday at UFC 258, Kamaru Usman (18-1) defended his welterweight title against Gilbert Burns (19-4). It was such an intriguing matchup because of the rise of Gilbert Burns and the fact that these two men used to be training partners.

The fight didn’t start well for Usman. Usman was hurt badly in the opening exchanges and Burns went all out trying to get a finish. However, Usman remained composed during the storm of Burns. Once that storm was over, the fight started to flip.

In the second round, Usman started picking Burns apart. Usman’s jab looked incredible and he ended up dropping Burns a couple of times in the second round. The finish was right there for the UFC champion.

In the third round, a power jab sat Burns down for good. Usman followed up with shots and the ref called a stop to the action. A massive win and a massive statement from the UFC‘s welterweight champion.

What’s next after UFC 258?

After the fight was over, there was one name on the mind of the UFC welterweight champion. That name is Jorge Masvidal (35-14). Masvidal and Usman fought back at UFC 251 on short-notice and Usman won by decision.

Usman said in his post-fight interview that he wants Masvidal to get a full camp so he can finish him. The UFC had been trying to book Masvidal and Colby Covington against each other and make them the coaches of The Ultimate Fighter.

However, it now appears that the UFC is going to switch things up. As of now, it appears that the promotion is going to book the rematch with Masvidal and Usman with them serving as coaches on The Ultimate Fighter.

Nothing is set in stone at the moment, but it appears that the rematch between Masvidal and Usman is next. It’s the biggest fight in terms of dollar signs for Usman so it’s not a huge surprise to see him want to get in there again with Gamebred.