The UFC’s welterweight championship is up for grabs on Saturday night as 170-pound king Kamaru Usman takes on challenger Jorge Masvidal for a second time in the UFC 261 main event.
One very interested party to this fight is former interim champion Colby Covington, who is on a collision course with both competitors.
Covington has a bone to pick with Usman after he suffered a broken jaw en route to a fifth-round TKO loss for the belt at UFC 245; a result that would have stung on its own, but made worse by their bad blood that brewed before the bout.
Aside from that rematch, “Chaos” also has an issue with former friend and teammate Masvidal. A fight between those two has long been in the offing, but has yet to materialise.
UFC President Dana White says if Usman gets through his rematch with Masvidal, then another rematch with Covington is likely to be next for the “Nigerian Nightmare”.
“He’s at a point in his career now where he’s looking at who’s next again,” White said of Usman when talking to TSN. “He’s coming back and going to be facing guys that he already beat. Obviously, Masvidal took that fight on short notice so let’s give him this fight, and we can do away with all the excuses. Then, Colby Covington’s next.
“Who knows. Anything can happen. Guys get injured, things happen, timing. Who knows, especially in this day and age but that should be the fight that happens next.”
White went onto say that Usman is getting closer to clearing out his division, hence why he is being linked to a string of rematch bouts. However, he points to the first Covington fight as being extremely competitive – one he bills as the best he’s ever seen – and that warrants a second go of it.
“I just think that if you look at what this guy’s [Usman] done, every time he fights, he looks better and better,” said White. “He’s literally fought everybody out there. Now he’s going for a second run on these guys and the fight with him and Colby Covington’s one of the best fights I’ve ever seen.
“The division is stacked with killers right now. The fight with him and Colby Covington, love him or hate him or whatever your deal is with him, is one of the best fighters in the world. Very, very good fighter and that fight was incredible. Both guys had to dig deep. It’s one of the best fights I’ve ever seen. Ever.”
So if Usman gets past Masvidal, and both he and Covington stay healthy, that rematch seems to be next. As for a Masvidal victory, surely it’s Covington who will get first dibs on that fight.