But on Friday, the UFC revealed the match will be held at UFC 225 in Chicago on June 9, rather than the initially reported date of May 12 at UFC 224 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The company made the announcement during the UFC’s 25th Anniversary press conference at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Dos Anjos (28-9), a former UFC lightweight champion, is 3-0 since coming up from 155 pounds. His most recent victory was a one-sided unanimous decision over former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler.
Covington (13-1), meanwhile, has won five in a row and is 8-1 in the UFC. His most recent bout was a unanimous decision vicotry over Demian Maia on Oct. 28.
That bout was held in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Covington had made incendiary comments about the country, which made some fear for his safety if he did indeed return to Brazil to face RDA.
“I’m the King of Brazil,” Covington said. “I owe it to the fans of Brazil to go back there and put on a show for them. Brazil wasn’t ready for me, so Dana had to put it in the U.S.”
Likewise, many have questioned the need for an interim welterweight belt, given that Tyron Woodley is expected to return sometime this summer. Woodley’s last fight was a victory over Maia at UFC 214 last July, which capped a period in which he competed four times in a 12-month span.
“He’s injured,” White said of Woodley. ”He’s been out for awhile. We’ve been trying to get him to fight. He’s not taking any fights. He sent us a doctor’s note from the best shoulder specialist in the country, who said he’s out til August. We’re not going to be in a position where we jam up a division, so we’re going to do the fight.”