Leon Edwards will refuse to sign off on Colby Covington fight, says 'Dana White privilege is definitely real'
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Leon Edwards has stood firm in his response to Colby Covington getting the next shot at his UFC welterweight championship.
The MMA star secured the first defence of his title with an intensely fought win over Kamaru Usman.
To the surprise of many, in attendance was the main backup fighter for the headline bout, Colby Covington, with the cameras seemingly positioned to get his reaction to every moment of the UFC 286 main event.
It became pretty apparent that the UFC was grooming a rivalry between the American and whoever would come out on top in the trilogy fight.
UFC boss Dana White confirmed as such in the post-fight press conference, saying that Covington would be next in line for a welterweight championship shot.
Dana White says Colby Covington is next for Leon Edwards… pic.twitter.com/8OyrGrqEUO— Bloody Elbow (@BloodyElbow) March 19, 2023
Edwards immediately took issue with this after being informed of the news by reporters, claiming he didn’t deserve such a match.
Covington last competed in the UFC in March 2022 and has suffered two losses in his last four fights in the division.
Both losses came to the former champion Usman.
In an interview on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Edwards reaffirmed his stance that the 35-year-old didn’t deserve an opportunity and went as far as saying he would refuse to sign any contract for a fight.
He said: “I definitely have a say [on who his next opponent is].
“Listen, he ain’t getting a title shot next fight. Look at the road I had to take to get there. There’s no way you’re getting beat twice by the guy that I just beat twice, went out and beat Masvidal, and then sit out for a year and a half, not even tweeting or nothing, just go missing for a year and then randomly pops up at the weigh-ins and it’s like, ‘OK, he’s fighting for the title next.’
“It makes no sense at all, so let’s see how it plays out. He has to go out there and earn his way like I had to do.”
Leon Edwards talks Colby Covington.#TheMMAHour pic.twitter.com/GUtHdB8juL— Jed I. Goodman © (@jedigoodman) March 20, 2023
The Englishman went on to claim that the idea that certain UFC stars get preferential treatment despite their records had weight to it.
He continued: “Khamzat [Chimaev] and me were calling each other out for years. This is a guy that I got matched up with three times in a row.
“I took the [Chimaev] fight and [Covington] didn’t take the fight and he’s getting rewarded for not taking the fight. When it was me, I got removed from the rankings.
“So ‘Dana White privilege’ is definitely real.”
It would certainly be a strong stance to take from the reigning champion - to refuse the UFC president’s wishes.
More often than not it doesn’t end well for the fighter.
Featured Image Credit: The MMA Hour/YouTube. @MMAFighting/Twitter.
Topics: Leon Edwards, Colby Covington, Dana White, UFC, MMA