The UFC is scrambling to find Leon Edwards an opponent after Khamzat Chimaev pulled out of their proposed bout due to suffering the effects of COVID-19.
That marks the third time that highly-anticipated booking fell through, but Edwards has made it clear that he wants to make that 13 March date after spending all of 2020 away from MMA competition.
Former interim UFC welterweight champion Colby Covington was among the names linked to fighting the Birmingham native, and Edwards has played his part in calling out Covington, Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal to make a fight happen.
Covington seemed the most likely opponent for “Rocky”, but it seems the former isn’t all that interested in fighting Edwards on short notice.
“Leon ‘Scott’ hasn’t earned anything,” Covington said in an interview with Submission Radio [H/T Sherdog] – Leon Scott being the name “Chaos” calls Edwards in dismissive fashion, apparently not knowing his name. “I’m in the Colby Covington Incorporated championship business. I’m not in the Leon Scott charity business. This isn’t charity hour, man. I’m fighting at the top of the mountain. I’m fighting the best in the world.
“I’m not doing charity business no more. It’s not my fault this kid hasn’t fought in two years. It’s not my fault this kid – there’s people from England fighting all the time in the pandemic, they’re not scared to fight. So, I’m not doing charity for this guy who hasn’t fought in two years. He’s irrelevant, he’s beat a bunch of bums, and I’m not doing charity. This isn’t charity hour, this is f**king championship f**king pay-per-view hour.”
Covington is more interested in taking his rivalry with former teammate and friend Jorge Masvidal to the Octagon instead for a big money fight. That, or face 170-pound champion Kamaru Usman for a second time.
Usman earned a TKO victory over his former teammate Gilbert Burns this past weekend at UFC 258, his third successful title defence. Covington rebounded from his fifth-round TKO loss against Usman with a decisive victory over former champion Tyron Woodley – another heated rival of his – last September.
That victory over Woodley, Covington believes, is enough to warrant another chance at winning the UFC welterweight championship.
“Let’s talk about real business, let’s not talk about charity business no more,” Covington said. “I deserve and I earned a fight for the world title. I just destroyed the former champion, finished him like nobody’s finished him before in the UFC. I came back and won a fight, what has Jorge Masvidal done besides sit on the sidelines and fake f**king pull out of fights?
“He’s scared to fight. He knows he’s washed up, he’s a journeyman. He’s looking for one more pay day. No one wants to see that guy fight for the title, they know what’s gonna happen. It’s gonna be the same exact outcome. And why reward a coward like that? A guy that’s blatantly scared to fight?”