At UFC 286, Leon Edwards reaffirmed his claim to the title with a 5 round decision victory over Kamaru Usman. Unbeknownst to Edwards and Usman, UFC handpicked Colby Covington to be the backup in case there were any snags with the main event.
This is a peculiar choice considering Covington hasn’t competed in a year and a half.
One thing Covington has going for him is the star power.
One potential opponent for Covington is Muhammad, who has publicly called him out to a clash at UFC 286 on several occasions. Muhammad is currently ranked fourth in the division and boasts an impressive eight win streak. Despite Muhammad’s resume, Covington has dismissed him as a potential opponent in an interview with The Mac Life.
“…I’ve never heard of the guy. UFC never brought him to my attention. Hasn’t done anything in the division.”
Needless to say, the general public was confused when Dana White revealed at the UFC 286 presser that UFC is targeting Colby Covington vs Leon Edwards in future for the welterweight title.
Belal Muhammad was very tactical in his call out of this strategy and went on to share:
There are also rumors Muhammad pointed out a racial bias but we were unable to independently verify those.
This is an interesting thing to point out considering Covington is definitely on the side of crossing boundaries when it comes to racially charged statements.
It’s interesting to see Muhammad blame the UFC brass for this peculiar choice.
Considering Masvidal’s star power it’s not inconceivable that UFC would strike a deal like that behind the scenes. There’s also the added bonus of Covington negotiating for himself instead of having an agent so he’s likely a budget solution – unlike Jorge Masvidal.
Masvidal’s trial has been pushed to May and he’ll be in the co main event of UFC 287 against Gilbert Burns.