Leon Edwards, despite this prediction, will not be forfeiting the welterweight title.
“Rocky” is expected to make his next 170-pound title defense against No. 2-ranked contender Colby Covington at one of the upcoming UFC pay-per-view (PPV) cards in either November (UFC 295) or December (UFC 296), depending on how the pieces get shuffled.
I guess UFC forgot the name.
“It’ll be before the end of the year,” manager Tim Simpson told Submission Radio (transcribed by Bloody Elbow). “I guess the two cards left are November and December and they’re still finalizing those. Leon is good. He’s ready to go, waiting for the call. From my understanding, Colby is ready to go as well. We’re in constant communication, they’re just shuffling a few pieces and it’ll land on one of those two.”
It won’t be UFC 295 if Jon Jones has any say in the matter.
Covington (17-3) first tried to usurp the throne by taking on then-champion Kamaru Usman at UFC 245 back in late 2019, falling by way of fifth-round technical knockout. A subsequent victory over ex-champion Tyron Woodley earned him a second shot at “The Nigerian Nightmare” but once again, “Chaos” failed to get the job done.
Beating Jorge Masvidal at UFC 272 was enough to push Covington back in the mix.
As for Edwards (21-3, 1 NC), he hasn’t tasted defeat in nearly eight years and turned the division on its head with consecutive title wins over Usman, first at UFC 278 and then again at UFC 286. It would be reasonable to think the winner of Edwards vs. Covington moves on to fight No. 3-ranked Belal Muhammad in early 2024, which could be a continuation of this 2021 affair or an entirely new contest.
Expect to find out in the coming weeks.