Colby Covington heard Chael Sonnen’s suggestion for a potential fight with Israel Adesanya for the middleweight title, and he loved it.
Coming off of a dominant win over Jorge Masvidal in the main event of UFC 272, Covington finds himself in an interesting spot in his career. Having two losses — including a recent one at UFC 268 this past November — to Kamaru Usman, and still being considered by many as the second best welterweight in the world, Covington called for a fight with another former teammate in Dustin Poirier, an idea that the latter doesn’t seem interested in.
Sonnen brought up the idea of Covington being a great foil for “The Last Stylebender” despite Adesanya having a potential next title defense against top contender Jared Cannonier. In Covington’s mind, not only could it be a big-time matchup, but also a fight “Chaos” would have a great chance of winning.
“Uncle Chael, man, that guy’s a f****** legend,” Covington told MMA Fighting. “Uncle Chael makes a very good point. Everybody was talking about Usman fighting Adesanya, this and that, Usman is a bad matchup for Adesanya — dude, I’m a bad matchup for Usman. I beat him in our last fight at Madison Square Garden. Why can’t I go up and fight Adesanya? I won’t have to cut one pound, I’ll just wake up and fight at my natural weight.
“That guy can’t stop what I do, and I truly believe that wholeheartedly. I do American wrestling, and this is mixed martial arts, blending the martial arts. And nobody can blend the martial arts like me. I put them all together. I’m a world class striker, an A++ level wrestler. I’m unbeatable, and that style, people are going to see over the next couple of years how impossible it is to stop that style.”
Adesanya is coming off of a unanimous decision win over Robert Whittaker in the main event of February’s UFC 271 event, his second victory over the former champion.
Covington feels that Adesanya’s “cardio kickboxing” style would not match up well against his relentless wrestling pace.
“I feel extremely confident and I feel I would be a pretty good sized favorite over him. That’s honestly how I feel,” Covington said. “He can’t stuff my shots, and if he stuffs it once, there’s going to be at least 20 or 30 [more coming]. I’m already, I think, second in the division’s history for most takedowns and I’m not even trying. You saw in my last fight with Jorge, I didn’t even break a sweat bouncing him around the octagon, telling him to lick my nuts, telling him he’s still my little son and I wasn’t even breathing hard. He was being held up by two people.
“My style against Izzy — he was getting taken down by Robert Whittaker. That guy has never taken a wrestling class, let alone being a D-1, high-level collegiate [wrestler] led by a master instructor like Dan Gable, who is one of the legends, one of the forefathers of American wrestling. When you learn that type of style and that type of mentality, there’s just not going to be a person alive that can stop you. I used to dig ditches for fun just to get a workout. I go to deep, deep lengths to really push myself, my body and mind to be ready for any opportunity and any fight, and there’s just not a lot of people who can keep up with that. Izzy’s not one of them.
“When the going gets tough, you saw what happened a couple of fights ago when he fought Jan Blachowicz — he couldn’t stop it when guys keep attacking him. I know I can do the same and I know it’s a great fight. Hopefully the UFC can give me the opportunity.”
With the potential matchup between Adesanya and Cannonier not officially on the books, Covington can see a world where he could find himself in the main event of UFC 276 on July 3, which will be one of the promotion’s biggest events of the year as it will be the culmination of International Fight Week. Whether it’s Adesanya, Poirier, or any other name that stands across from him, Covington would love to return at the summer blockbuster fight card.
“I was ready to go for April, for May, for March still, I didn’t even have a scratch from my last fight,” Covington explained. “My last fight was a flawless victory. So, of course, July, International Fight Week, that’s the big pay-per-view event the UFC does in Vegas. That’s perfect timing to get back in there, so hopefully they can give me one of these big fights I want. July, that’s perfect. I’d love to do it and hopefully Hunter Campbell hits up my phone soon.”