Leon Edwards didn’t have to wait long to discover the identity of the next man to challenge for the UFC welterweight title.
During his post-fight interview following his win over Kamaru Usman at UFC 286, Edwards’ attention was drawn by Daniel Cormier to the presence of Colby Covington at Octagonside. And, although “Rocky” dismissed Covington’s claim as the next man in line, UFC president Dana White confirmed that “Chaos” was up next during the post-fight press conference.
“I don’t know when we’ll do it, but that’s the fight that makes sense,” white told reporters, including Fighters Only, backstage at The O2 Arena.
Covington’s credentials have been called into question, with the former interim champion not having fought since a March 2022 victory over Jorge Masvidal. Prior to that win, Covington had an injury TKO of Tyron Woodley sandwiched between losses to Usman.
But the American’s willingness to fly across the pond as a backup fighter seems to have jumped him to the front of a welterweight queue that also includes the likes of Belal Muhammad, Shavkat Rakhmonov and Gilbert Burns. The official UFC rankings currently list Covington ahead of that trio, however.
“Colby came here and cut weight and did everything to be here for this fight. He deserves the fight. Not to mention that he’s the second- or third-best guy in the world.”
White also revealed that two of those contenders are potentially set to face off, with the UFC president confirming that the promotion is looking to book Muhammad and Rakhmonov for a matchup later this year.
“What’s next for Belal? Rakhmonov — we’re working on it,” he said.