Colby Covington was denied middleweight title fight, says Sonnen
Former UFC interim lightweight champion Colby Covington has been denied an instant title fight at 185 pounds, according to his friend and MMA insider Chael Sonnen.
During a recent interview with Ariel Helwani on “MMA hourSonnen said Covington had spoken to UFC President Dana White about receiving a crack against current 185-pound champ Israel Adesanya. But White wasn’t there. open.
Covington has never competed outside of the UFC’s 170-pound division. However, white said at a press conference in July, competing at 155 pounds or middleweight was potentially in the cards for Covington.
According to Sonnen, the fact that Covington has said in the past that he would move up to lightweight hurt his ability to receive an immediate shot at middleweight gold.
“Colby came out and he was talking to people, he was trying to fight and he was like, ‘I’m even going to go down to 155,'” Sonnen said via mma fight. “Because he said those words, somewhere that planted a seed where Dana is going, ‘OK, he’s not on the big side of ’70, he’s on the short side of ’70.’ So when we offered Dana to let your No. 1 contender go up, use that golden ticket but cash in middleweight, Dana just wasn’t open to it, he said, ‘Ah, if I move him anywhere, I’ll move it to ’55.’
“It was legit. I had spoken to Colby. Colby wanted to come up, use that ticket if you want – which I know is figurative and not real, but he’s a #1 contender who didn’t couldn’t get a title fight – and use it for Izzy.And it was to the point that Izzy was responding.
Covington had long held the No. 1 welterweight spot in the official UFC rankings. But with Kamaru Usman dropping the belt to Leon Edwards last month, Covington fell to No. 2 behind ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’.
Sonnen said Covington is ‘all for’ fighting Adesanya
Sonnen continued his thoughts on Covington’s potential quest for the 185-pound championship. Considering Edwards and Usman will likely fight in an upcoming trilogy for welterweight gold, Sonnen said it’s a great opportunity for Covington to fight the winner of November’s middleweight title clash between Adesanya and Alex Pereira.
“Colby was all for it,” Sonnen said of the fight for the 185-pound belt.
“I do not see anyone [else] position themselves for Izzy, largely because they’re all scared of him. Nobody is positioned for Pereira because they don’t think he can win. It failed, man. The middleweights are really lacking right now.
“It’s just one of those spots, I think there are real duds at middleweight.”
Covington said in November 2021 that he would not move up to lightweight
Weeks after losing the welterweight belt to Usman for the second time, Covington spoke with MMA News’ James Lynch. And during the conversation, Chaos had confirmed that he had no interest in going from 170 to 155 pounds.
“I don’t want to wrestle,” Covington said via Sportskeeda.com. “When you cut that kind of weight…it’s so unhealthy for your body, taking all that water out of your brain and dehydrating your body like that, that’s just not good, man.
“So I think about the long term of my life. I don’t cheat, I don’t use steroids, I don’t cut massive amounts of weight, things that wreck your body and take years off your life. So, you know, I do it the right way. I just showed up and fought in my natural weight class that I weigh.