Colby Covington has Ulimate Fighting Championship (UFC) gold in mind.
UFC CEO, Dana White, finally made it official last night (Weds., Sept. 20, 2023) that Covington (17-3) will get his third crack at the undisputed Welterweight title when he faces reigning champion, Leon Edwards, in UFC 296’s pay-per-view (PPV) main event on Dec. 26, 2023. The T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, will host what will be Covington’s first bout since March 2022 when he defeated Jorge Masvidal via a unanimous decision.
Much has changed in the mixed martial arts (MMA) landscape in Covington’s time away. Most recently, the Middleweight division saw a new titleholder crowned in the form of Sean Strickland. While Covington will have his hands full with Edwards first, he’s suddenly enticed by the idea of taking out the new 185-pound kingpin.
“That’s the beauty of the UFC, it’s such a pure sport,” Covington told James Lynch. “Anybody can win on any given night and if you don’t come ready to fight that night and you have an off night, that’s what can happen.
“Obviously, [Israel] Adesanya overlooked him,” he continued. “He thought that he was just gonna be able to breeze through this guy and he probably didn’t train very hard and I think he’s getting a little comfortable up there. He’s made some big paychecks and he’s just not hungry like he used to be. It just opens up the door for all the Middleweights because that’s the easiest guy in the division to beat. Honestly, it opens up the door for me. I might go up and beat his ass. That guy’s a f—king punk. He got his ass knocked out by [Kamaru] Usman like a little scrub. F—king out, unconscious. So imagine what I would do to him as America’s champ.
“That could be the next fight as well,” Covington concluded. “I might go up to Middleweight, steal that Middleweight strap. Champ champ!”
Covington’s match up against Edwards will act as the champion’s second title defense attempt after fending off the former champion, Usman, in their March 2023 trilogy via majority decision. In “Chaos’” previous two bids at UFC gold, he fell short at the expense of Usman, who defeated him first by a fifth round technical knockout and a unanimous decision in the rematch.
Getting a fresh clash this time around, Covington has full confidence that his style will present “Rocky” with problems at UFC’s final pay-per-view of 2023.
“It’s a great matchup, I love fighting southpaws,” Covington said. “There’s a reason he’s delaying this matchup, he knows it’s the hardest stylistic fight for him and for me, it’s just another fight, another big pay-per-view main event. I don’t remember the last time I fought a f—king three-round prelim fight like some of these other bums that call out my name.
“I think it’s a great stylistic fight, southpaw to southpaw and I don’t think he can keep up with my well-roundedness,” he continued. “He’s going to be guessing the whole time, am I taking him down, or am I striking? Am I taking him down or am I striking? Now, I’m a black belt under sensei [Daniel] Valverde, my submission skills, my finishing skills, I’m coming to put this dude lights out. He’s ain’t making it 25 minutes come December 16 in T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada.”
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