Colby Covington
Chaos

USA

Gets title shot
WelterweightUFC
September 28, 2019
Covington will headline UFC 244 on Dec. 14 in Las Vegas by squaring off against welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, Dave Doyle of MMAJunkie.com reports.
ANALYSIS
The fight was originally rumored to be taking place at UFC 244, but the deal could not get done in time. Covington, the former interim champion, earned his title shot after defeating veteran Robbie Lawler in August. With just one loss (early in his career) in 11 UFC fights, he will look to carry that momentum into his bout with Usman as approximately a (+145) betting underdog. Statistically, Usman holds the edge in volume striking and striking differential due largely to his propensity to rack up points while in dominant positions on the ground. Covington has a superior takedown average of 5.69 per 15 minutes of fight time, but Usman's main strength happens to be wrestling as well. Through 10 fights under the UFC banner, no man has managed to record a takedown against Usman. Covington will also enter with slight height and reach disadvantages.
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Couldn't get deal done for UFC 244
WelterweightUFC
September 9, 2019
Covington no longer appears likely to face Kamaru Usman at UFC 244 on Nov. 2, as talks with the UFC "stalled" over the weekend, Ariel Helwani of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
Covington, the former interim champion, all but locked up a shot at Kamaru Usman's belt when he dismantled veteran Robbie Lawler in August, but getting the two fighters to sign the dotted line has been a challenge. The UFC apparently moved on from Covington entirely and offered Usman a fight with Jorge Masvidal, but fortunately for Covington, negotiations didn't get very far. UFC brass didn't seem too happy with Usman, and talks of stripping his belt even surfaced. The promotion ultimately elected to book a matchup between Nate Diaz and Masvidal to headline the November card, which ultimately leaves the door open for a matchup between Covington and Usman later in 2019. Some sportsbooks have already released odds for this inevitable matchup, pegging Usman as high as a (-210) betting favorite.
Confirmed for next title shot
WelterweightUFC
August 7, 2019
UFC President Dana White confirmed Tuesday that Covington will get the next shot at welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, Damon Martin of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
This was all but a forgone conclusion after Covington thoroughly dismantled former champion Robbie Lawler in Newark last weekend, logging 179 significant strikes and a whopping 10 takedowns in the five-round affair. That brought Covington's winning streak to seven, while his last five have all gone to the judges. Looking ahead to the Usman matchup, Covington will concede height and reach advantages to the champion, who also sports far better offensive and defensive striking numbers. Both offer wrestling as their greatest strength, but after registering 17 takedowns in his last two fights, Covington has the volume edge with 5.69 takedowns per 15 minutes of fight time. The undefeated Usman has yet to be taken down in 10 UFC fights, however, so he'll represent by far the toughest challenge Covington has ever faced in the Octagon. This could come down to striking if the two stalemate in the wrestling department. Neither have shown much knockout power to date, with three total finishes in 21 combined UFC fights. Stay tuned for an official announcement on the date and location, which will likely occur after Covington clears all post-fight medicals.
Rolls over Lawler, title shot next
WelterweightUFC
August 3, 2019
Covington defeated Robbie Lawler via unanimous decision (50-44, 50-45, 50-45) at UFC on ESPN 5 on Saturday in Newark, New Jersey.
ANALYSIS
Covington's ability to make his opposition work is remarkable, and it's all the result of sheer effort and pace. He landed 10 takedowns on 18 attempts and attempted 564 total strikes compared to just 198 from Lawler. Every single time Robbie appeared to be gaining some steam at distance, Colby dragged him to the mat, and did so in a variety of different ways. In the instances in which he didn't have Lawler on the ground, Covington constantly had him pushed up against the fence. It's not a stretch to say that Colby fights to his strengths better than any fighter on the UFC roster. Covington isn't the best striker in the world, but he looks a whole lot better when he is pounding on his exhausted competition. It was a truly dominant effort and one that will assuredly result in Covington getting the next shot at Kamaru Usman's UFC Welterweight Championship. That fight will probably happen before the end of 2019 -- UFC 244 at Madison Square Garden on November 2 seems like a real possibility, and is legitimately one of the biggest and most intriguing bouts the UFC can book at the moment.
Draws Robbie Lawler in Newark main event
WelterweightUFC
June 25, 2019
Covington has agreed to face Robbie Lawler in a welterweight matchup in the main event of UFC Newark on August 3, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
Covington was awarded the interim belt at 170 pounds with a victory over Rafael dos Anjos in June of 2018, but has been on the sidelines since while awaiting his title shot. He was ultimately passed over in favor of Kamaru Usman, who hurt his knee in his victory over champion Tyron Woodley and is effectively sidelined until at least November. Rather than wait, Covington will accept a fight against an electrifying veteran and future hall-of-famer. He'll be the betting favorite in this one despite Lawler's status as a legend, as Lawler is 37 years old and has been fighting in absolute wars for the better part of the last two decades. Covington is a respectable enough striker, but look for his primary goal to be getting Lawler to the mat. He averages more than five takedowns per 15 minutes of fight time over a 10-fight UFC career, while Lawler's takedown defense sits at an average rate of 69 percent. Both men measure up at 5-11, with a two-inch reach advantage going to Lawler. Lawler has the experience, but Covington has youth and momentum on his side. There hasn't been word of late if Covington is still considered the division's interim champion, so it's unclear if any kind of belt will be on the line.
Passed up for title shot
WelterweightUFC
January 6, 2019
Covington (nose) will not get the next opportunity to fight for the welterweight title, Ariel Helwani of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
While Covington still technically holds the interim belt, UFC brass ultimately decided to make Tyron Woodley vs. Kamaru Usman as the next title fight in the 170-pound division. That matchup will take place at UFC 235 on March 2 in Las Vegas. This makes the next step for Covington a bit unclear, though he'll likely have his sights set on Woodley when he's next available. The two have verbally sparred over social media for the better part of a year, so it was a bit surprising to not see Covington get this opportunity. Apparently, UFC brass did not appreciate Covington sitting on the sidelines waiting for Woodley, while Usman last fought in November and had been actively campaigning for another fight with a top contender. Covington will also miss out on what would have likely been a large pay-per-view share, as the event is scheduled to be headlined by a light heavyweight title matchup between Jon Jones and Anthony Smith.