UFC president Dana White isn’t hearing it.
White spoke to the media at Rogers Place following the conclusion of Saturday’s UFC 240 pay-per-view event and provided an update on where Anderson stands as a contender as well as clarifying what’s going on at the top of the 170-pound division.
Riding a three-fight win streak that includes a victory over one-time light heavyweight title challenger Glover Teixeira, Anderson is yet to fight this year but he has kept his name in the headlines with the occasional jab at Jones. Social media beef boiled over into real life on Saturday when Anderson approached Jones at a signing in New Jersey, prompting the question of whether a mixture of Anderson’s recent success and their budding rivalry could reasonably lead to Jones’s next title shot.
Unfortunately for Anderson, it didn’t sound as if White had even heard about the incident and he claimed that his disinterest in Anderson is mainly due to the fact that the Ultimate Fighter 19 winner is being too selective with his matchups.
“Corey Anderson’s turned down about 50 fights in the last month. No,” White said of Anderson possibly being next in line. He did not specify what opponents Anderson has allegedly declined to fight.
White added that he is optimistic about how Jones’s recent run-in with the law will play out and that if Jones is available, he could headline a show at Madison Square Garden in November.
At welterweight, a number of intriguing challengers await the return of champion Kamaru Usman including Leon Edwards, who just won his eighth consecutive UFC fight, and former interim champion Colby Covington.
White indirectly praised Edwards by describing what an impressive feat it was for him to defeat Rafael dos Anjos.
“I’ve said to you guys many times what I think of ‘RDA,’” White said. “I’ve got a lot of respect for that guy, he’s tough, he’s durable, and yeah, it was a good fight.”
White stopped short of guaranteeing that Edwards is in the mix and he made it clear that Covington is still in the No. 1 contender’s slot, even though Covington is fighting Robbie Lawler in the main event of UFC Newark.
Covington has won six straight fights and developed an attention-grabbing personality. An interim welterweight championship win seemed to cement him as the next in line for a shot at the undisputed title, but he chose to fight Lawler rather than wait for Usman. So long as Covington takes care of business in this coming Saturday’s main event, he’ll maintain pole position in the welterweight rankings.
“Covington’s next in line and he stepped up,” White said. “He took this Lawler fight and he’ll get the fight [if he wins].”