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Daniel Cormier: Colby Covington risking ‘No Man’s Land’ status with continued inactivity

UFC 272: Covington v Masvidal Photo by David Becker/Getty Images

It’s been just under a year since Colby Covington last made the walk at UFC 272 in March 2022. “Chaos” settled the feud with Jorge Masvidal in the main event, outwrestling “Gamebred” to a clear-cut unanimous decision win to retain his status in the Top Five.

Unfortunately, nobody told Masvidal the beef was over, resulting in the alleged assault at a Miami steakhouse that cost Covington a bit of his tooth. Ever since then, Covington has remained shockingly quiet on the sidelines, likely in part due to his legal case against Masvidal.

While that’s a fairly unique and understandable reason to be busy outside of active competition, the Welterweight division continues to roll forward. Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman will complete their trilogy in London, England at UFC 286, and just last week, a pivotal showdown between Masvidal and Gilbert Burns was booked for April.

UFC color commentator Daniel Cormier believes that Covington has to return to competition soon, otherwise his momentum and status at 170-pounds will suffer.

“He won his last fight, but time has passed,” Cormier said on his ESPN show DC & RC (via MMAJunkie). “Time is passing, and being idle isn’t the best thing for a guy in a division that’s constantly moving. But the moment Colby Covington starts to re-insert himself, he’ll be loud, he’ll be boisterous, he’ll have a lot to say, and people will start to pay attention. And then right away he’s back relevant, because we have not seen anyone but Kamaru Usman for a really long time solve the puzzle that is Colby Covington.

“So, I think he will be relevant for a while, but I think he needs to get rolling again, because momentum is key in this sport. And when you don’t have momentum, nobody’s really checking for you, and I think Colby Covington needs to make sure he doesn’t find himself in that place where he is in no man’s land out on an island by himself.”

At the moment, there are currently two potential paths forward for Covington. Belal Muhammad has built up an unbeaten streak of nine fights dating back to January 2019, and he’s been constantly calling for a scrap opposite Covington. “Remember The Name” is absolutely willing to throw down, and the style clash would certainly be intriguing.

Alternatively, Khamzat Chimaev’s future remains a bit uncertain, but that’s the much bigger fight. Covington vs. Chimaev has been discussed previously as a possible title eliminator, but there’s now the issue of whether or not “Borz” can even make the Welterweight limit. If he’s heading up Middleweight, then Muhammad really appears to be the best option.

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