Colby Covington is officially no longer the UFC’s interim welterweight champion.
That’s according to UFC president Dana White, who confirmed the news in a recent interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal. White did say that “Chaos” will have the opportunity to fight his way back into contention, but he is no longer considered a 170-pound titleholder.
“He’s not the interim champ,” said White. “We offered a fight to Covington and Covington didn’t take the fight. I say it all the time, 20 years I’ve been saying this, I don’t know how many more times I’ve got to say it, this is a sport of opportunity. When opportunity is there, answer the door, take it. If you don’t, it’s going to take you longer to get back to that belt. I liked the fight that Usman had, Usman was ready to fight anybody and he’s getting the shot.
“Colby now is going to have to fight again and earn the spot to get back.”
Well, that’s that.
After defeating former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos last year at UFC 225 to claim the interim welterweight title Covington was expected to face off with current champion Tyron Woodley at UFC 228. An injury prohibited Covington from fighting “Chosen One” and the opportunity has since been handed over to Kamaru Usman, who is coming off his own dominant win over RDA and will now face Woodley at UFC 235 this March.
Essentially, Covington’s refusal to fight at UFC 228 just three months after claiming the interim title cost him a shot at Woodley. Over the past couple of months, “Chaos” has fired back at UFC and belittled the promotion’s tactics at every possible turn. Not only has the welterweight verbally trashed White, but Covington stated he would not return to the Octagon unless it was for “undisputed champion” money.
We’ll have to wait and see what happens now, especially since Ben Askren is hot on the scene and looking for his own shot at UFC gold. Covington may end up having to bite his tongue and beat up an extra few contenders before working his way back into the mix.
It just goes to show how cutthroat this business truly is.