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Morning Report: Colby Covington explains why he accepted fight with Robbie Lawler instead of waiting for title shot

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Earlier this week, it was announced that Colby Covington would be headlining UFC Newark against Robbie Lawler. It was an unexpected announcement as Covington seemed to be in line for the first shot at Kamaru Usman’s welterweight title. But taking to social media yesterday, “Chaos” explained his decision to come back.

“I have agreed to defend my title in my first defense against the last real champion this division has had. A bigger man and name than Marty Fakenewsman, The man Ben Asscream is terrified of and couldn’t beat. Living legend of combat sports [Robbie Lawler]. He’s a Former UFC Champion, Hodge Trophy recipient and the only name big enough for me to face in a Primetime ESPN Main Event Title Fight. America’s Champ always answers the call. See you in Newark.”

Lawler is not actually a Hodge Trophy recipient. UFC welterweight Ben Askren is though, and after his controversial win over Robbie Lawler at UFC 235, Covington proclaimed that Askren should give up his trophy to Lawler. But while Lawler may not be a Hodge Trophy recipient, he is one of the biggest stars in the welterweight division and a former UFC champion. With Usman reportedly targeting a fall return, the UFC wanted Covington, who has not fought in over a year, to get back into action before his title shot. And according to Covington the choice was easy.

“I accepted right away,” Covington told MMAJunkie Radio yesterday. “Marty Fake Newsman, he’s out there faking injuries, who knows when he’s gonna fight again? He’s already been out for six or seven months. Who knows when he’ll be back. He’s making up different narratives and excuses each and every week. The show must go on. I’ve got to defend this title. I won this title and now it’s time to defend it.

Robbie Lawler’s a very worthy champion. If you go on the street right now and you ask a thousand people who they know better . . . between Marty Fake Newsman and Robbie Lawler, who are they gonna pick? Exactly. He’s a bigger name, he’s a legend of the game, a true champion, a true fight friendly - he appeases the fans. He has an exciting style and I’m excited to get in there with him because it’s gonna be a war. It’s on ESPN, it’s prime time. No one is ready for the bright lights and the big cities like Colby Chaos Covington.”

Covington has done a tremendous job of turning himself into a marketable commodity in recent years. A former D-I All-American wrestler, Covington came into the UFC with little fanfare. But after amassing a 7-1 record in the organization, Covington adopted a much more aggressive trash-talking persona that eventually earned him an interim title shot against Rafael dos Anjos. His inactivity since then caused him to be stripped of that interim belt but his talking has kept him in the public eye. Now, Covington is planning on turning “the first defense of his interim title” into a launching pad to becoming the face of the UFC.

“Robbie is a bigger name,” Covington said. “He looked impressive in that fight with Ben Asscream. He’s a better dad than Ben Asscream, he’s a better fighter, he’s better looking. He just does everything better than Asscream, so I’m excited. It’s a big, big opportunity and I shine brightest in those big opportunities, so this is my chance to really show to the UFC and to ESPN who the real champ is and who is the face of the UFC and that’s what I plan on doing.”

UFC on ESPN 5 takes place on August 3 in Newark, NJ.


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2011: Cheick Kongo had the comeback of the year against Pat Barry, knocking him out at UFC on Versus 4.


Hard to feel sorry for Colby given everything about him, but a part of you has to at least recognize how weird this is. Colby has done just about everything Dana would like for a young fighter to do - to pretty good success too! - and despite that, Dana still keeps making him sing for his supper. At the expense of pretty marketable title fights that could get his champion’s over. It’s all just so weird.

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.



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