Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) interim welterweight champion, Colby Covington, is probably shitting his pants now that Jorge Masvidal has become the people’s contender, thanks to a record-setting knockout over 170-pound loudmouth, Ben Askren, at UFC 239 last night (July 6, 2019) in Las Vegas, Nevada.
One worth an extra $50,000.
Covington (14-1) will be under all sorts of pressure to do something extraordinary when he collides with ex-division kingpin, Robbie Lawler, in the main event of UFC on ESPN 5 next month in Newark, New Jersey, a bout he was forced to take when reigning division kingpin, Kamaru Usman, benched himself until November.
Can the promotion really book Covington vs. Usman if “Chaos” squeaks by Lawler with a split decision? I guess that all depends on where you stand on the whole “sport vs. prize fighting” debate.
Regardless of how he prevails, a Covington victory would be his seventh straight and he’a already ranked No. 2 in the division, behind former champion Tyron Woodley. By “sport” logic, he’s more deserving than Masvidal, who is just 2-2 over the last two years.
If we go by the “prize fighting” model, then fuck Covington. His last four wins were boring decisions while Masvidal (34-13) has lit the division on fire by smoking Askren, a former two-promotion champion and Darren Till, an ex-welterweight title challenger, in consecutive fights.
“I’m not God but I just baptized two individuals back to back,” Masvidal said at the UFC 239 post-fight press conference (watch it here). “The belt is the only thing that’s left for me.”
It also doesn’t help that Covington has been acting like a complete douchebag over the past two years and accosting promotion president, Dana White, during impromptu blackjack games in casinos. That kind of shit can come back and bite you in the ass and welp … here we are.
Covington, 31, and Masvidal, 34, are longtime teammates at American Top Team (ATT), so it will be interesting to see how they approach the upcoming Usman fight. Again, this is predicated on a victory for “Chaos” and as Askren learned, quite painfully, there are no guarantees in mixed martial arts (MMA).
Especially with someone as “wishy-washy” as White at the helm.
“First of all, Usman isn’t even healthy right now,” White told reporters after the fight. “I don’t know when he’s gonna be cleared to fight. I can’t even talk about who’s next. We’ll see what happens.”
I thought, perhaps foolishly, that once Woodley was ousted from his 170-pound throne, that we might get the 170-pound assembly line moving again. But we’re right back where we started with the champion off doing his own thing while a bunch of welterwhiners argue about who’s next.
Thank god we don’t have that problem at lightweight! Oh wait…