Though most all of us believe there’s only one fight to make in the UFC welterweight title picture, there’s still some speculation on the idea of how it’s going to go. After Covington defeated Robbie Lawler last Saturday, he was asked onto “The Ariel Helwani MMA Show,” where he talked in detail about an injury.

Covington stated that he’d need serious surgery for his eyelid, considering the team that stitched it up three weeks prior to his fight didn’t do a good job with it, and it needs to be re-done. This, however, shouldn’t take more than two months of rehab, as the former interim champ’s timeline was “a couple of weeks, maybe a month or two.”

This doesn’t seem to be all bad, the timetable isn’t too long, and Kamaru Usman still hasn’t been cleared to fight either. Covington stated that, considering this, maybe one of the December pay-per-view (PPV) cards would be a better one for him to return on, rather than MSG in November.

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When it comes to who is next, it’s got to be Usman, right? If not, what else does Covington have to do? Though he’s unlikable to most, a good amount of people were saying he deserved a shot at the title and shouldn’t have even had to take another fight. Others took a little longer to understand how good he really is because his cringy trash talk seemed to go further than his performances apparently, but after his win this past Saturday, everyone’s finally starting to see how good Covington really is.

After Usman defeated Demian Maia following Covington’s win over the Brazilian, then defeating Rafael dos Anjos after Covington did, along with their wrestling backgrounds, age, records, the way they fight, everything seems to be quite similar between the two. They’re both so relentless with such high-level takedowns, ground control, and cardio. Why not make this fight between two of the best in the sport? Jorge Masvidal and Leon Edwards are right in the mix too. It would make sense to have them fight each other for a No. 1 contender spot.

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Though Masvidal has two Knockout of the Year candidates this year, and against top-level opposition, he lost his last two before that. And though Edwards is on an eight-fight win streak, only second to the champion who has ten-straight, he hasn’t really had that fight where everyone agreed he was next in line. Yes, his performance against dos Anjos was incredible, but Covington is clearly ahead of the pack.

For someone who won the interim title, and never got his shot, to be stripped and come back for a fight he shouldn’t have even had to take in order to get a title shot – it’s time for Covington to get his opportunity. Kamaru Usman showed all of us how good he really is when he fought Tyron Woodley and took all five rounds away from him. Same with Colby Covington, who showed us how good he really is by taking all five rounds away from Robbie Lawler, and just as easily.

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What do you think should be next for the former interim UFC welterweight champion, and when would you like to see him return?

I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That’s the first fight I saw, and the fight that got me hooked on the sport. Since then, the sport has grown so rapidly, and my goal is to enlighten everyone on what’s going on in the sport today.