Who will get next crack at the welterweight title?
That depends on who wins between Khamzat Chimaev and Colby Covington next March in London, assuming UFC President Dana White was serious about booking the 170-pound title eliminator for the co-main event of the Leon Edwards vs. Kamaru Usman-led pay-per-view (PPV) fight card.
“I agree with you,” White told The Mac Life about getting Chimaev-Covington booked for London. “I’m on it. I’ll get it done.”
Chimaev (12-0) is currently ranked No. 3 at 170 pounds, one spot below Covington (17-3). “Borz” opened as the odds-on betting favorite for their potential showdown, even with some UFC insiders calling this Chimaev’s “most difficult matchup” to date.
“I will be happy if they do that,” Chimaev recently told reporters. “I don’t think that guy wants to fight me, he gonna go to the cops, calls the cops. Dana White will be in jail if they make that fight. He talks too much in the media, then when he sees face-to-face, then he goes to the cops. If I’m honest, UFC has to kick him out. He’s a bitch.”
You can also make the argument that Chimaev shouldn’t be rewarded for his UFC 279 scale fail, especially when you have surging welterweights Belal Muhammad and Sean Brady competing for their spot in the 170-pound title chase at UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi.
“You guys hype these guys up real quick, but let’s not forget that (Chimaev) was put down by the common cold,” Covington said before a recent fight. “He was ready to retire off the common cold. That’s a 99.9 percent survival rate to beat the common cold. ‘Cumshot’ Chimaev was ready to give it up and retire. He doesn’t want to fight me. He has a way less chance than 99.9 percent chance against me.”
Expect to hear something definitive on this potential fight in the coming weeks.