The UFC’s welterweight division is looking mighty competitive these days, and sitting at the top of the division you’ve got a number of guys looking like they could be next for new champ Kamaru Usman.
While we certainly don’t expect Tyron Woodley to get an immediate rematch (he’s currently out healing an injured hand), there’s still Jorge Masvidal and Leon Edwards to consider. Both men are coming off huge wins in their last fights with Masvidal starching the previously undefeated Ben Askren and Edwards beating the tough as nails Rafael dos Anjos.
Oh yeah, and then there’s Colby Covington, former interim welterweight champ. He’s fighting Robbie Lawler August 3rd at UFC on ESPN 5, and while victory is by no means assured, if it is he’ll have once again earned dibs on a title shot.
So sayeth UFC president Dana White, who confirmed Colby’s place in the 170 pound pecking order at the UFC 240 post-event press conference.
”Covington’s next in line,” White said. “He stepped up and took this Lawler fight.”
Covington is currently riding a six fight win streak but hasn’t competed since June of 2018 when he earned the now-stripped interim welterweight belt. For a while it seemed like that move and the UFC subsequent demands for another non-title fight had ruined the relationship between the two parties, but even Colby’s willingness to disturb Dana White at a private blackjack table in Vegas wasn’t enough to permanently sour business relations.
Lawler is coming into the fight with “Chaos” on a two fight losing skid, although his most recent loss to Ben Askren is a controversial one. “Ruthless” was absolutely smashing Askren early on before getting caught in a bulldog choke. A bad angle led to referee Herb Dean stopping the fight early, and that’s all it took for the former UFC welterweight champ to walk away with another L.
Covington is another strong wrestler who will no doubt try to implement a similar gameplan against Lawler. Whether it will work in the face of Robbie’s violent aggression is what we’re all tuning in next week to find out.