Former interim UFC welterweight champion, Colby Covington has hit out at upcoming opponent, current undisputed champion, Leon Edwards for rejecting the opportunity to defend his title on home soil in the UK later this summer, branding the Birmingham native “disgusting” for rejecting a homecoming.

Covington, the current #2 ranked welterweight contender, has been sidelined since headlining UFC 272 back in March of last year in a grudge match against Jorge Masvidal, defeating the Miami veteran in a one-sided unanimous decision victory.

Expected to return to the Octagon later this year in an undisputed welterweight title fight against champion, Edwards,Covington was initially lined up a for a July bout with the defending gold holder, however, the champion confirmed he would rather fight in October toward the end of this year instead.

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Colby Covington takes aim at arch-rival Leon Edwards ahead of title clash

With the earmarked UFC 291 pay-per-view event now altered to a UFC Fight Night London billed card, Covington has labelled Edwards “disgusting” for taking another title fight headliner away from the UK contingent. 

“That’s disgusting,” Colby Covington told LowKick MMA reporter, James Lynch in regards to Leon Edwards’ refusal to fight in London in July. “Those people, those fans over there in London – the most passionate, most diehard fans I’ve ever seen in my life, man. I respect those guys, have so much love for the UK and London. Man, those people are amazing.”

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“The fact that Leon rejected a home date over there, and he thinks, ‘Oh, they’re not worthy of a pay-per-view, let them get a Fight Night.’” Oh, Leon, you think your people aren’t worthy of a f*cking main event, world championship, undisputed welterweight world title fight? You want them to have a Fight Night instead?” Colby Covington explained. 

“Just the disrespect he has towards his own people, James, is disgusting. It would be like me turning down a home date in Maralago, and I’m like, ‘Yeah, I’m not gonna be able to fight there.’ And I’m gonna have to call my friend Donald Trump and be like, ‘Yeah, Donald, I’m not gonna be able to fight on this home date and defend the land.’” 

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Off the back of UFC 288 last weekend, in which Belal Muhammad lodged a one-sided unanimous decision win over Gilbert Burns, the above-mentioned, Edwards stressed that the entirity of the welterweight ranks presented “light work” to him

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.