Colby Covington is no longer the interim welterweight champion and he’s not even guaranteed the next shot at the 170-pound title.
While all signs pointed to Covington getting the next shot at Woodley, the UFC ultimately passed him up in favor of Usman, who will now fight for the welterweight title on March 2 in Las Vegas.
White’s ire with Covington comes down to two separate incidents when the UFC was attempting to book marquee fights for a pair of pay-per-view cards.
The first happened at UFC 228 last year when Covington was asked to face Woodley just three months after a five round battle against Rafael dos Anjos to become interim champion. Covington had scheduled sinus surgery following his win and didn’t want to cancel while also accepting a short notice opportunity to battle for the title.
Then in January, Covington was expected to face Woodley at UFC 233 but this time it was the champion who was dealing with an injury and unable to compete. The UFC then attempted to book Covington into a different fight against Usman but he declined saying that he wanted to wait for Woodley.
The end result was Usman being offered the title shot against Woodley at UFC 235 and now it appears Covington will have to face another opponent before he could potentially earn a chance to fight for the welterweight championship.
“He’s not the interim champ. We offered a fight to Covington and Covington didn’t take the fight,” White said when speaking to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I say it all the time, 20 years I’ve been saying this I don’t know how many more times I’ve got to say it, this is a sport of opportunity. When opportunity is there, answer the door, take it. If you don’t, it’s going to take you longer to get back to that belt. I liked the fight that Usman had, Usman was ready to fight anybody and he’s getting the shot.
“Colby now is going to have to fight again and earn the spot to get back.”
Covington has lashed out at the UFC while taking particular aim at White after he was passed over in favor of Usman for the title shot.
Covington even dared the UFC to release him from his contract but White has already stated that the promotion has no intention of letting him go.
What happens next is anybody’s guess.
Covington will undoubtedly be irate to hear that he’s expected to face another contender before earning a title shot and by all accounts it seems like White is ready to move forward without him after Usman faces Woodley in March.
Do you think Colby Covington deserves the winner of Woodley vs. Usman? Sound off in the comments and let us know!