Reigning UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards dismissed Colby Covington’s title shot as absurd after he was named the next contender for the title after the Briton defeated Kamaru Usman in a rematch.
“I definitely have a say so he won’t get a title shot next,” Edwards said on The MMA Hour. “Look at the road I had to travel to get to where I am today. He was beaten up twice by the guy I just beat up twice in a row, then he beat Jorge Masvidal and sat for a year and a half without a case. He didn’t even write anything, he just disappeared for a year, and then suddenly appeared at the weigh-in and got a title shot. It doesn’t make any sense. He has to go out and earn his right to a title shot like I did.”
At the same time, the UFC champion is inclined to believe Khamzat Chimaev, who claims that the American refused to fight him.
“Khamzat Chimaev and I have been challenging each other for years. I was scheduled to fight him three times. I accepted the fight with Chimaev, but Covington refused to fight him and was awarded for it. When I did this, I was removed from the ranking. So, ‘Dan White privileges’ are definitely real.”
“I feel that Covington needs at least one fight. Everyone else is fighting and working hard to get a title shot, so he has to go out and fight one of the guys in the top five and then we’ll see. Now there is no clear contender – they are all in one victory from the fight for the title. So I will sit on my throne and see how things unfold.”
Last weekend at UFC 286 in London, Leon Edwards successfully defended the UFC Welterweight Championship by defeating Kamara Usman by a majority vote, after which UFC President Dana White confirmed the contender status of Colby Covington, who insures the title fight.