Colby Covington was somehow able to convince matchmakers he deserved a third welterweight title fight, despite already losing in two separate championship challenges, and will face reigning 170-pound kingpin Leon Edwards in the UFC 296 pay-per-view (PPV) main event on Dec. 16 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Covington, 35, has not fought since a unanimous decision victory over Jorge Masvidal in the UFC 272 headliner back in March of 2022. In fact, “Chaos” has only appeared twice over the last three years, previously falling to then-champion Kamaru Usman at UFC 268, suggesting Covington is only competing for a PPV paycheck.
“I have a hard time believing he’s going to continue fighting if he loses this fight, to be honest,” longtime welterweight veteran Matt Brown told MMA Fighting. “He just doesn’t come across as that kind of guy to me. He hasn’t fought for two years. He’s not built like me, where I love fighting, and if I lost 10 in a row, I’d still want to fight. He’s the kind of guy where I think he’s in there to get paid, get his money, stir up as much s**t as he can and get out. Nothing against that. I’m not saying that’s a wrong way to do it. Had I operated in that fashion, maybe I’d be living in a bigger home right now. It is what it is, but [this is his third title shot] and he hasn’t fought for two years. What would he even do after this if he were to lose again? He’s got a murderer’s row coming up.”
Waiting in the 170-pound wings are several up-and-coming welterweight prospects, all equally dangerous in their own right. That includes undefeated rising stars Shavkat Rakhmonov and Ian Machado Garry, as well as Aussie sensation Jack Della Maddalena. In addition, established veterans like No. 3-ranked Belal Muhammad and No. 5-ranked Gilbert Burns are lurking in the background.
Brown, 42, knows a thing or two about the 170-pound lineup, having competed under the UFC banner for more than 15 years. Along the way, the hot-and-cold “Immortal” has battled the likes of Stephen Thompson, Robbie Lawler, Carlos Condit, and Donald Cerrone, among others, holding a 24-19 record with 16 blistering knockouts.
To see who else is fighting at UFC 296 click here.
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