UFC president, Dana White is adamant that former interim welterweight titleholder, Colby Covington will challenge for undisputed division gold next, pointing to the fact current champion, Leon Edwards received his own title affair despite his own lenghty Octagon layoff.

Edwards, the current undisputed welterweight champion, most recently headlined UFC 286 earlier this month in a championship trilogy rubber match against former pound-for-pound number one, Kamaru Usman – defending his title in a close, majority decision victory. 

Off the back of his decision win over Usman, Birmingham native, Leon Edwards was all but penned to fight former interim titleholder, Covington next – with UFC president, White initially confirming the #2 ranked contender would be fighting for undisputed spoils next.

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Calling for a July matchup during International Fight Week at UFC 290, Covington’s campaign has been knocked back by Edwards, who has questioned the legitimacy of his championship challenge, and claimed the pairing made no sense next.

Doubling down on his stance that Covington will receive the next shot at gold, White explained that Leon Edwards will now have a target on his back following his successful title defense on home soil.

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“Colby Covington deserves this shot at the title,” Dana White told assembled media following UFC San Antonio. “I don’t blame Leon (Edwards) – Leon just got through (Kamaru) Usman twice and now he’s looking at another wrestler now, with a funky style that’s tough to deal with. When you become the champ, everybody’s coming after you.” 

“All the straight killers are coming after you and for the next three times a f*cking year, you’re faced with nothing but the baddest dudes in the world in your division,” Dana White explained.

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Dana White points to Leon Edwards’ extended lay off prior to his own title tilt

Attempting to make Edwards see sense, White pointed to the fact that Edwards earned his title shot against Usman in August of last year off the back of his own extended period away from active competition.

“Leon didn’t fight for like almost two years, he got the shot,” Dana White explained. 

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.