Dana White eyes Colby Covington vs. Leon Edwards as No. 1 contender fight

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Nolan King and John Morgan
·2 min read
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LAS VEGAS — Leon Edwards lost his scheduled matchup against Khamzat Chimaev, but the UFC is actively seeking to get him a fight against Colby Covington.

UFC president Dana White revealed Friday the promotion is working on a booking between the two welterweight contenders and a title shot could be at stake for the winner.

“I think what we do now, with what happened to Khazmat, we’re looking at Colby vs. Leon,” White told MMA Junkie at a UFC 258 media scrum Friday. “The winner of that fight would fight Usman next.”

Edwards (18-3 MMA, 10-2 UFC) was originally scheduled to fight Tyron Woodley in March 2020, but the event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. Edwards was booked against Chimaev for Dec. 19, but withdrew from the fight due when he contracted the virus.

The fight was rescheduled twice after that, for Jan. 20 and March 13. However, Chimaev was forced to pull out of both dates due to the lingering effects of COVID-19.

With Covington (16-2 MMA, 11-2 UFC) vs. Jorge Masvidal rumors flying, White indicated the priority of getting Edwards a proper matchup after well over a year of inactivity and being a company man takes precedent.

“That’s what makes sense right now,” White said. “That’s the fight. Listen, for a guy like Leon, Leon accepts the fight with a No. 15 ranked guy who is a savage. Nobody else wants to fight this guy. He accepts the fight. The fight keeps falling out left and right. Now, this happens to him? We’ve got to go (up) with him, not (down) to show the kid the respect he deserves and stepping up and taking these fights and doing what he’s done. (We’ll) get him the right fight.”

The fight between Edwards and Covington, the former interim welterweight titleholder, could take place as early as March 13, though White did not want to commit.

“Sure, (it could happen March 13), White said. “I think Colby has been training anyway. I think Colby is ready to fight. I don’t know. This thing just happened yesterday. We’re still scrambling.”

As for the return of “The Ultimate Fighter,” White isn’t concerned with who the coaches will be, if not Covington and Masvidal.

“We’ll figure ‘TUF’ out,” White said.

UFC 258 takes place Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and early prelims on ESPN+.

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