LONDON – Leon Edwards doesn’t think Colby Covington deserves the next title shot.
Welterweight champion Edwards (21-3 MMA, 13-2 UFC) retained his title by defeating Kamaru Usman by majority decision in Saturday’s UFC 286 headliner at The O2. In attendance was Covington (17-3 MMA, 12-3 UFC), who weighed in as a backup and was guaranteed a title shot by Dana White.
But Edwards doesn’t see how Covington, who hasn’t competed in a year, should be next.
“I don’t know how that makes sense,” Edwards said at the UFC 286 post-fight news conference. “He hasn’t fought for over a year-and-a-half. Sat out. Not injured. I don’t get how he just slides in for the world title shot when there’s other guys in the division that have been active and fighting. Didn’t sit out. I’m the king now. I’ve earned my way, so I feel like I should decide who’s next.”
When asked about Covington being a big-money fight, Edwards says he sees rival Jorge Masvidal as the more lucrative fight, and will have his eyes on his UFC 287 matchup with Gilbert Burns on April 8.
“If Masvidal beats Burns, that’s the fight to make if you’re going pay-per-view wise,” Edwards said. “I just don’t see how Colby sits out for a year, not injured then just slides in for a title shot. I had to work 12 fights to get there. When I was trying to get my title shot, he was saying, ‘Who is he? I don’t know who he is,’ and now I’m the king.”
He continued, “I just don’t like him (Masvidal) so I feel that’s the one I need to get back. I feel like there’s a storyline there to tell. If he gets the job done, I’ll have a look. I’ll consider it. If he begs me, I might let him slide in here.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 286.
Leon Edwards says Colby Covington next doesn’t make sense: ‘I don’t get how he just slides in for the title shot’