A year on from his last UFC fight, Colby Covington is very much back in the mix, and has his sights set on two huge fights as he looks to get back to action inside the Octagon.
Covington jetted in to London to be the UFC’s backup fighter for the UFC 286 title fight between Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman, and made championship weight with no fuss as he provided the UFC with a big-name insurance policy for their championship main event.
In the end, Covington wasn’t needed to compete in the English capital, but he was a prominent figure at Octagonside as Edwards defeated Usman for a second consecutive time to retain his title. And, at the post-fight press conference, UFC president Dana White stated that Covington would be the next man to challenge Edwards for his title.
During his time away from the cage, Covington had been noticeably quiet. But, following his appearance at UFC 286, the old “Chaos” is back. He sounded off to reporters backstage at The O2 Arena, and did the same in interviews with the UFC and ESPN.
He also hopped on for a chat with Australian outlet Submission Radio, who asked him for his view on a potential clash with Conor McGregor, who looks set to return to action at welterweight later this year against fellow The Ultimate Fighter coach Michael Chandler.
And, despite having little complimentary to say about the likes of Edwards, Usman, Islam Makhachev and Khamzat Chimaev during the interview, he was full of compliments for McGregor, and said a bout with the Dubliner would be a box office smash for the UFC.
“I think it’s definitely a possibility,” he said.
“The things that Conor’s done are unmatched to this sport, no doubt about it. He’s done the most iconic things in this sport. And the beautiful thing about Conor is like all the things he’s done, no one thought he was gonna do them.
“He’s unpredictable. I mean, if you would’ve told me he was gonna knock some guy out in nine seconds or whatever he did against Jose, like, no one could have predicted that. So, he’s unpredictable. He could do anything on a moment’s notice. So, that’s not a guy you take lightly. He’s a very dangerous and bad man, and it’s a potential fight that could potentially happen down the road.
“Everybody knows I’m the biggest star right behind him in the company right now. So, if we did wanna do a pay-per-view, it would be such a blockbuster fight. I think it would be honestly the biggest pay-per-view seller in UFC history. Probably around 2 million buys, to be honest. If it happens, you know, beautiful. If it doesn’t, you know, I’m not worried about that. I don’t need to fight him for my legacy. I’m gonna keep racking up wins. I’m gonna keep winning world titles.”
Before any possible matchup with McGregor can be considered, Covington first has his matchup with Edwards. The UFC welterweight champion was nonplussed with the idea of facing Covington in his next title defense and said he’d be more interested in settling his feud with Jorge Masvidal if the Miami native can get past Gilbert Burns at UFC 287.
But Covington said talk of a potential Edwards vs. Masvidal bout was pointless following White’s press conference comments.
“It’s not gonna happen,” he stated.
“Even Dana White was asked about that at the press conference after the fight in London that I showed up for. A reporter asked him and said, hey, what if Jorge goes out there and sparks Gilbert? He said, ‘Doesn’t matter, 100 percent Colby’s next.’ So, there’s no avoiding this for ‘Leon Scott’ anymore.
“The guy’s gotta come take this losing pay cheque, this ass whooping. He’s gonna get his ass whooped. He’s gonna get sent back to England crying. He’s gonna go to his mum crying. But, they’re not gonna be tears of joy this time, they’re gonna be tears of sadness. And he’s got no choice. He’s got nowhere to go. We will fight. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.
“So, hopefully it’ll end up being July at International Fight Week, the biggest and best stage. We’ll do it with Jon Jones on the card. I just think it’ll be an entertaining weekend, and a weekend for America.”