- Colby Covington defeated fierce rival Jorge Masvidal and has title shot next
- He faces Leon Edwards in the main event of UFC 296 in Las Vegas next Saturday
- Ruthless teenage prospect Moses Itauma is a star in the making – The Hook
Colby Covington heads into his UFC 296 title shot against Leon Edwards in typically belligerent form on the mic.
The controversial American fighter has taken a swipe at his old nemesis Jorge Masvidal and also claimed the UFC cannot trust Khamzat Chimaev.
Covington, 35, defeated Masvidal last year before ‘Gamebred’ allegedly attacked him in a Miami restaurant, leading him to plead no contest to a misdemeanor battery charge after initially facing two felonies.
The bitter rivalry between the two men lingers on and Covington rubbed salt in the wound, telling ESPN: ‘It was an easy fight, five rounds of domination, 50-43 and a soda
‘Been big brothering that guy my whole life. He’s never won a second of any round off me so just another dominating performance.
Colby Covington, pictured with Donald Trump, takes on Leon Edwards at UFC 296
Covington defeated Masvidal (bottom) in their clash at UFC 272 at T-Mobile Arena
‘Especially coming off the three-month turnaround from beating ‘Marty’ [Kamaru] Usman in Madison Square Garden.
‘I thought I came back and rallied, won the last three rounds. I dropped him in the fourth.’
Covington went on to add that he felt he defeated Kamaru Usman in his last title shot back in November, 2021.
‘I feel like I beat him that night. Just ‘cause they didn’t put the belt around me and three judges cageside didn’t score the fight for me, they gave him three rounds to two against me, that’s okay.
‘Those aren’t the people that are gonna determine my value, my worth on this planet. The fans are impressed by my work, that’s all that matters to me. I feel like I am the champion.’
‘Chaos’ has endured a long spell of inactivity since beating Masvidal in March last year and takes on red hot Edwards, Britain’s second UFC champion.
He revealed that there had been talks for him to face Khamzat Chimaev and admitted it has been ‘tough’ to be on the sidelines.
He explained: ‘They were looking at setting up that fight with that motherf***** Khamzat Chimaev, but he’s unprofessional, he’s a clown.
Covington (left) slammed Khamzat Chimaev (right) for being untrustworthy
Edwards enters the fight with Covington as the narrow favourite in Las Vegas
‘He’s out there laughing when he’s missing weight by 10 pounds, making a fool of this publicly-traded beautiful company of the UFC, making a fool laughing while you’re ruining their main event pay-per-view. So, he’s not accountable, he’s not someone they can trust in that spotlight.
‘It’s been extremely tough because as soon as I got done with that fight with Jorge in March I went backstage to Hunter Campbell and I said, “Hunter, I want to fight again in June or July. Get me back in there. I need to fight. I’m in my prime right now, I want to go capitalize.”‘
It will be interesting to see if the layoff has caused any rust in Covington, who enters as a very slight underdog against Edwards next Saturday.
Victory for the American could well mean the match-up with Chimaev is back on the cards further down the line.