Colby Covington, the former interim UFC welterweight champion, is gearing up for UFC 296 with his eyes set on facing Leon Edwards. Covington, known for his outspoken nature, has been on a hiatus for over a year, eagerly awaiting a return to the Octagon.
In an exclusive interview with UFC.com, Covington expressed his frustration with the inactivity, revealing that he accepted fights against formidable opponents such as Khamzat Chimaev and Dustin Poirier. However, these matchups didn’t materialize, leaving Covington hungrier for competition.
The unexpected twist in the welterweight division came with Edwards’ stunning head kick knockout of former champion Kamaru Usman at UFC 278. Covington, initially shocked by the outcome, believes that Usman’s vulnerability stemmed from the damage inflicted by Covington in their previous encounters.
Colby Covington Unleashes Fury: Accusations, Controversies, and the Road to UFC 296 Showdown
Covington asserted, “No doubt about it, I took the fight out of Usman.” He claims to have loosened Usman’s chin at UFC 245 and UFC 268, paving the way for Edwards’ championship victory. Despite being selected as the backup fighter for Usman vs. Edwards at UFC 286, Covington didn’t get a chance to showcase his skills in the cage.
Reflecting on the fight, Covington wasn’t impressed with either fighter’s performance and observed a hesitancy in Usman’s approach. He attributes this to the psychological impact of the previous knockout, emphasizing his relentless forward pace and unwavering cardio.
With a record of 12-3 in the UFC, Covington’s journey to title contention involved a remarkable seven-fight win streak, showcasing his dominance across different continents. Covington believes his extensive travels and victories in opponents’ home countries have shaped him into a mentally resilient athlete, ready for any challenge.
In contrast, Covington criticizes Edwards, suggesting that the Briton had favorable matchups and strategically timed his title shot after an extended period of inactivity. Covington specifically points to Edwards’ victory over Nate Diaz, a lightweight, as an example of a less-than-worthy path to a title shot.
As the anticipation builds for UFC 296, Covington’s narrative adds an extra layer of drama to the welterweight division. Whether his accusations against Edwards and Usman hold weight will be determined in the Octagon, but one thing is certain – Covington’s return promises intensity and a renewed hunger for victory.