Colby Covington may not be interim welterweight champion much longer but his consolation prize will be competing for the real belt after UFC 228 is finished.
After winning the interim belt back in June at UFC 225, Covington wasn’t able to fight as early as September per the promotion’s request so a new welterweight title bout was scheduled instead.
Welterweight champion Tyron Woodley now faces heavy-handed British slugger Darren Till in the main event at UFC 228 while Covington underwent sinus surgery earlier this week in Florida, which is what prevented him from fighting as early as September.
UFC president Dana White explained how the situation unfolded following the weigh-ins at UFC on FOX 30 while also adding that Covington will be stripped of his interim belt the moment a punch is thrown between Woodley and Till in September.
“So the way that the interim belt works, you fight for the interim belt, which means you get the next shot at the champion,” White explained. “You’re the interim title holder. You get a shot at the champ when he’s ready cause the champ is out for whatever reason, for however long. Woodley was back, Woodley was ready to fight and Colby wasn’t ready to fight. So we’re not going to hold up the thing with two belts for the champion.
“When the champion’s ready, you need to be ready to go. So as soon as one punch is thrown in this fight, it’s for the title.”
“When he’s ready, he’ll get the next fight.” ~ Dana White on Colby Covington
As disappointing as it might be for Covington to win the title in June and then lose the belt three months later, he did get at least one piece of good news from the UFC boss.
White added that Covington may not have the interim belt any longer after UFC 228 is finished but he will still remain the No. 1 contender in the welterweight division to face the winner of Woodley vs. Till.
“He won the title and he’s still the guy,” White said about Covington. “When he’s ready, he’ll get the next fight.”
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