Colby Covington is set to headline UFC 296, the final PPV of 2023, facing Leon “Rocky” Edwards in a highly anticipated welterweight title clash. Belal Muhammad has been announced as the backup for this bout, and he is presumed to be next in line for the title.
On the pre-fight media day, Covington shared his thoughts on the welterweight division’s landscape, outlining his plans that involved and excluded various prominent names in the division.
Colby Covington wants trilogy bout vs Kamaru Usman
Colby Covington will be fighting for the title for the third time at UFC 296; he lost the previous two attempts against Kamaru Usman, the former long-reigning champion of the division. Now, Colby has plans with Usman if victorious against Edwards.
“I would love to see that trilogy. That’s another fight that plays out, so all these other contenders can wait because that’s bigger business. You know that me and Usman have to settle it; it’s unfinished business,” said Usman on the prospect of fighting Usman after UFC 296 as his first title defense.
Covington believes that he was wronged by the referee and judges in his two fights with Usman. Moreover, Covington was all praise for Usman for his short-notice fight against Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 294. “I thought he beat him. I thought he beat Kumshot. You know, he was striking him. I thought he dropped him. Cumshot was scared to strike with him; he didn’t even hit him once. Look at the significant strikes that were landed.” Colby added.
Covington shared his sentiment that Usman was wrongfully done by judges in Abu Dhabi. “So, you know, if that was a five-round fight, Usman would have destroyed him; he would have finished him in those championship rounds.”
Covington extended his praise to Usman, asserting that Usman would have secured a finish against Chimaev if the fight had been scheduled for five rounds instead of three. Nevertheless, Chimaev is positioned to receive a title shot in the middleweight division upon his return to the octagon.
Colby Covington refuses to fight Belal Muhammad
Belal Muhammad is the backup fighter for the main event of UFC 296. Muhammad last fought Gilbert Burns at UFC 288 and was promised a title shot by Dana White. However, Covington does not seem to be entertained by the idea of Muhammad getting a shot at the title after UFC 296.
“Who wants to fight a racist? I mean, could you imagine if I said someone earned something off the color of their skin? That’s absolutely despicable. It’s disgusting that guy hasn’t deserved anything,” Covington said of Muhammad getting a title shot next.
Covington also criticized Muhammad for a tweet suggesting that Covington received a title shot because of his race. Although Muhammad had since deleted the tweet, Covington appeared to hold onto that sentiment.
“I mean, it’s not my fault that he’s not a star. You have to make yourself a star. I’m the one that went out there and did the things that needed to be done to become a superstar. Like I have. What has he done? He hasn’t done anything. He’s out there race-baiting,” Covington further trolled Muhammad citing his stature as a popular fighter than Muhammad.
Do you think Colby Covington will become the welterweight champion at UFC 296? Leave your prediction below!