Colby Covington appears to be next in line for a welterweight title shot provided he takes care of business in the UFC Newark headliner on Saturday.
UFC president Dana White said the American Top Team representative will get the next crack at reigning 170-pound king Kamaru Usman if he defeats Robbie Lawler.
“Covington is next in line, and he stepped up, he took this Lawler fight, and he’ll get the [title fight],” White said at the UFC 240 post-fight press conference.
Covington captured the interim welterweight crown with a five-round verdict over Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 225 in June 2018. However, he was stripped of the belt when he wasn’t ready to face then champion Tyron Woodley the following September. Covington has won six fights in a row and nine of his 10 Octagon appearances overall.
If Covington wins and White’s proclamation holds true, that could set the stage for another matchup between two other top welterweight contenders, Leon Edwards and Jorge Masvidal. Edwards and Masvidal got into a scuffle backstage following UFC London, so there is some history between the two fighters.
White is open to that bout as well and acknowledged that welterweight is currently one of the deepest in the sport.
“Yeah, that’s definitely a good fight to make,” White said. “Question is, where do you do that fight and how much security are we going to have?
“Welterweight division is ridiculous right now – stacked with talent and stacked with unbelievable fights, [possibilities].”