This Saturday in the headliner of UFC Newark, Colby Covington will look to solidify his place as the #1 contender when he faces Robbie Lawler inside the Prudential Center. Prior to this fight being made, Covington had vowed to sit out until he received a world title shot. This was a vow Covington made since winning the interim welterweight championship in June of 2018, and he refused to accept any other fight than against then champion Tyron Woodley.
One man in particular who was offered to Covington was current champion Kamaru Usman. Covington turned down the fight while Usman went on to dethrone Woodley at UFC 235. The road then seemed to then be paved for a Covington/Usman showdown, only for the Covington/Lawler main event for UFC Newark to be announced, much to the surprise of the MMA community, including Kamaru Usman:
“I’m just as lost as everybody,” Usman said of the Covington/Lawler bout in a BT Sport interview. “I mean, I think it was one of those situations where…you’re not the champion. You can’t sit and dictate that ‘I’m gonna fight for the belt. He’s been out for over a year. And I’m the champion. He was kind of that situation to where I’m pretty sure he’s not very good with money, I’ve heard. You haven’t fought in over a year. I’m sure those bank accounts are starting to hurt. And on top of it, you can’t dictate. So I think it was a fight they presented to him, and he had no options. He had to take the fight.”
Regardless of the reason, the fight is happening this Saturday. That said, the champion has a hard time picking a winner between “Ruthless” and “Chaos”:
“Robbie’s got bricks in his hands,” Usman said. “And we saw what he did to Askren. They used to train together. So I don’t know what happened in those training sessions, so there could be a psychological advantage either to Robbie or towards Colby, so I have no idea.”
What’s your take on Colby Covington accepting a fight with Robbie Lawler after vowing to only fight for the title for his next fight?