UFC boss Dana White reveals who Leon Edwards' next opponent should be
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Rumours of a possible clash between Edwards and Covington have been swirling ever since the latter, who was a back-up fighter for Edwards' recent trilogy bout with Kamaru Usman, showed up at cageside in London.
Covington has not fought in over a year, however, the former interim champion at 170lbs is still widely considered one of the finest wrestlers in the division despite losing both of his undisputed title fights against Usman in 2019 and 2021.
But Edwards has repeatedly played down the possibility of a fight in the days following his showdown with Usman, insisting that the American has not fought enough top contenders.
It is believed that Edwards would rather face Jorge Masvidal, who Covington defeated in March 2022, provided Masvidal can overcome Gilbert Burns in Miami in April.
"I don't know how Colby makes sense," said Edwards.
"He hasn't fought for more than a year and a half. There are other active guys in the division. I'm the king now, I've earned my way and should decide who is next. Pay-per-view wise if Jorge Masvidal beats Gilbert Burns, that's the fight to make.
"I had to fight 12 times for a title shot and he [Covington] said he didn't know who I was. I'm the king, I'll decide who is next.
“Colby hasn't been fighting, not injured either so how does he deserve it. There's no storyline for the Colby fight, it's weird."
White, however, believes Covington has earned his shot at the title.
At a press conference on Saturday evening, White said: “Listen, it’s not like I’m a big, ‘Oh Colby, Colby’. Colby Covington deserves the shot at the title and I don’t blame [Leon Edwards].
"Leon just got through Usman twice and he’s looking at another wrestler with a funky style. That’s tough to deal with, but that’s it.
“When you become the champ, everybody’s coming after you. All the straight killers are coming at you for the next three times a f***ing year. You’re faced with nothing, but the baddest dudes in the world in your division."