UFC president Dana White doesn’t make fights the night of an event, but he seems to have a clear idea on who Leon Edwards will face next.
Edwards successfully earned his first title defense in a majority decision victory over Kamaru Usman in their trilogy fight in the UFC 286 headliner last night in London, United Kingdom.
It was not the most impressive victory, but it was certainly a hard-fought one that saw “Rocky” emerge victorious despite having a point deducted in the third round.
With Usman now out of the title picture for the time being, the attention quickly turned to who Edwards would face next. And as far as White is concerned, former interim champion Colby Covington deserves the shot.
“I don’t know when we’ll do it, but yeah, that’s the fight that makes sense,” White said at the post-fight press conference (via Bloody Elbow). “And Colby came here, cut weight, and did everything to be here for this fight. He deserves the fight.
“Not to mention the fact that he’s the second or third-best guy in the world.”
Covington notably made weight as the back-up fighter for the event and was also in attendance as he called for the next shot. However, given Covington’s overall inactivity since his defeat to Usman, having fought just once in a win over Jorge Masvidal in March last year, Edwards doesn’t see the logic in facing “Chaos” next.
“I don’t know how that makes sense,” Edwards said in the post-fight press conference. “You haven’t fought for over a year and a half sat out, not injured. I just don’t get how he just slides in for the world title shot, when there are other guys in the division that’s been active, been fighting, didn’t sit out.
“Like I said, I’m the king now. I’ve earned my way so I feel like I should decide who’s next.”
There’s certainly a case to be made for other fighters such as Belal Muhammad and Shavkat Rakhmonov who have been much more active. That said, Covington is a bigger name who seemingly has the blessing of White.
Perhaps we’ll see Leon Edwards vs. Colby Covington during International Fight Week in the summer?