Recently Dana White said that if Colby Covington gets by Robbie Lawler at UFC Newark, Saturday, he’ll be next for welterweight champ Kamaru Usman. Is the controversial fighter certain that will be the case? No. Understandably, and wisely, he’s not.
Due to the run Covington’s been on, which includes winning the interim title, everyone understood that “Chaos” is knocking on the title shot door. But, thanks to Jorge Masvidal’s electrifying, knockout of Ben Askren last month at UFC 229, many folks speculated “Gamebred” had taken the pole position for a title shot. The theory being that unless Covington scores a decisive win over Robbie Lawler at UFC Newark, Masvidal would be next for Usman.
Well, following UFC 240, UFC President Dana White said that if Covington wins Saturday, a title shot is his. When Covington was recently asked to comment on those statements, the brash fighter said this (quotes via MMA Junkie):
“I want to see something in writing”
“It’s not nice to hear (White say that), because nothing’s guaranteed in this sport, and we all know that,” Covington said. “I’m not going to believe anything until I’m locked in that cage with somebody.
“Until then, we know what’s happened. I’ve been down this road before. I’ve been promised many times. I’m all about promises made, promises kept. But I can’t say the same for everyone else in this business.”
Now, even if Covington’s behavior and or act makes you cringe, you have to concede he’s on point here. After all, we’re talking about a guy who after winning the interim belt last June -that’s an accomplishment that’s supposed to lead to a bout for the undisputed belt – was passed over for Darren Till (since Covington couldn’t commit to fighting in September due to pending nasal surgery).
Then, after Covington showed up for UFC 235 this past March and harassed both White and Usman (who beat Woodley to win the belt), he was also told he was next for the champ. But, since Usman’s been injured, and the UFC’s always in need for headliners to fill its hectic schedule, Covington’s fighting Lawler on Saturday.
Now, this isn’t to say that the UFC brass has been explicitly dishonest when discussing Covintong’s title shot prospects, or anyone else’s for that matter. But, we all know that verbal commitments, and contractual obligations are two, very, very different things.