The more belts the merrier. UFC 224 will crown an interim welterweight champion when Colby Covington and former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos collide in the co-main event.
With Tyron Woodley on the shelf until around July recovering from shoulder surgery, the UFC saw an opportunity to make another belt for an event that they believed needed a boost. By the time he gets back in shape, it will be a year since his last title defense at UFC 214. With Rafael dos Anjos and Colby Covington being the top two contenders without a title shot, they are a fitting pairing for this bout.
Colby Covington has put his money where his mouth is (and his mouth runs) with an 8-1 UFC record, winning his last five fights. The All-American wrestler has dominated opponents with a relentless grappling attack, most recently defeating former top contender Demian Maia and top-10 contender Dong Hyun Kim. Covington has made noise by trash talking the entire nation of Brazil without the showmanship of a Chael Sonnen. Now he will go there to fight for a title.
Rafael dos Anjos is a former lightweight champion that injected new life into his career by moving up 15 pounds. RDA seemed to be the next long-reigning champion at 155 after one-sided wins over Anthony Pettis and Donald Cerrone. However, Eddie Alvarez successfully blitzed him and knocked him out in the first round of his second title defense. After a loss to Tony Ferguson, dos Anjos moved up and defeated Tarec Saffiedine, Neil Magny, and Robbie Lawler consecutively to earn this shot.
UFC 224 will take place at the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, on May 12. The main event features Amanda Nunes defending her bantamweight title against Raquel Pennington. Top middleweights Jacare Souza and Kelvin Gastelum will also square off on the pay-per-view main card.