London, England — With the trilogy between Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman settled, and “Rocky” coming away the better man for the second straight fight, it’s time for the welterweight division to move on.
Only, sometimes you move forward by going back, apparently. That seems to be the case at 170lbs, where a familiar name was confirmed by UFC President Dana White as next in line for the title: Colby Covington.
Speaking to media outlets including Cageside Press backstage at the O2 Arena in London, White revealed that Covington, who weighed in as a backup for Saturday’s main event, would fights Edward at a future date yet to be determined.
“Chaos” has not completed since a March 2022 win against Jorge Masvidal.
Asked about the prospect of booking the bout for International Fight Week, “I don’t know when we’ll do it, but that’s the fight that makes sense,” White stated. “And Colby came here and cut weight, and did everything to be here for this fight. He deserves this fight. Not to mention, he’s the second or third best guy in the world.”
“Yeah,” White reiterated when asked to confirm Covington would face Edwards for the title next.
That’s the case even should Jorge Masvidal, who has history with Edwards (remember ‘three piece and a soda?’), do something spectacular against Gilbert Burns in Miami next month. “Colby. Colby gets the next shot. No matter what happens.”
It was also a no from Dana when asked about Islam Makhachev’s Tweet asking for Edwards in Abu Dhabi. “Colby’s next.”
White also noted that Belal Muhammad versus Shavkat Rakhmonov was in the works — “we’re working on it,” he stated — news that won’t sit well with Belal’s fanbase, with the fighter having the best record in the weight class outside champ Edwards at the moment. Many saw him as deserving of the next title shot, but it seems he’s at least one win away.
Watch the full UFC 286 post-fight press conference with UFC President Dana White above.