Rafael dos Anjos and Colby Covington to fight for interim welterweight belt at UFC 224

Rafael dos Anjos and Colby Covington are set to fight for the interim UFC welterweight championship at UFC 224 on 12th May.

BJPenn.com first reported the fight was being booked and MMAFighting confirmed those rumours to be true.

With UFC 224 taking place in Rio de Janeiro’s Jeunesse Arena, this signals Covington’s return to Brazil.

American Covington isn’t exactly popular in the country, having called it “a dump” and the Brazilian crowd “filthy animals” following his unanimous decision win over Demian Maia in Sao Paulo back in October. Like with Maia, Covington is once again taking on a Brazilian on what is now definitely enemy territory.

On his security in the country, Covington said “UFC has guaranteed my safety. [The] only security concern is gonna be when they lock RDA up and he has to stand across the cage from 170 pounds of raw American steel and sex appeal,” according to MMAFighting’s report.

Dos Anjos’ last appearance in the Octagon saw him defeat former champion Robbie Lawler by unanimous decision in December in a title eliminator bout. Since the former lightweight champion’s move to the welterweight division, he has won three in a row, also beating Tarec Saffiedine and Neil Magny.

Meanwhile, Covington has compiled a five-fight winning streak punctuated by his victory over Maia.

Reigning welterweight champion Tyron Woodley is currently recovering from shoulder surgery and hasn’t competed since July of last year.

UFC 224 is set to be headlined by a fight between UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes and Raquel Pennington. RDA – Covington is being billed as the featured co-main event.

Jake Hughes

Jake Hughes

Jake Hughes is an MMA writer who has covered the sport since 2013 for publications such as Vice Sports, Fightland, Sherdog and now Fighters Only, where he serves as freelance digital editor.