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Morning Report: Robert Whittaker defends Colby Covington’s welterweight title shot: ‘Colby does deserve it’

UFC 272: Spivak v Hardy
Colby Covington
Photo by David Becker/Getty Images

Robert Whittaker is all in on Colby Covington’s UFC welterweight title shot.

The days of Whittaker competing below 185 pounds are a distant memory. As “The Reaper” departed the welterweight division in 2014, Covington entered and slowly started his ascent to stardom. In 2023, each fighter is a fixture atop their weight class with titles on their resumes.

Whittaker — a former undisputed 185-pound champion — is currently awaiting his next move, hoping to soon get another crack at the top of the mountain following this weekend’s Alex Pereira vs. Israel Adesanya rematch. Meanwhile, the UFC is planning to have the welterweight champion Leon Edwards next defend against Covington, which has caused quite a stir throughout the community. Also competing at UFC 287 on Saturday will be 170-pound contenders Gilbert Burns and Jorge Masvidal, who hope to make an undeniable case that can supersede Covington. Whittaker, however, doesn’t have an issue like most others do with the way things are playing out.

“I think that fight between Leon and Masvidal would be great,” Whittaker told mainevent (h/t LowKick MMA). “Everybody has been wanting that fight. I think it’s a good fight for Masvidal. I think that’s a great fight for him. I don’t like him skipping the queue over Colby. I think Colby does deserve it. I know people are saying otherwise, but I think in my opinion Colby deserves that shot just because he has put a beating on most people.

“The [Kamaru] Usman fights, I think stylistically, styles do make fights, and Usman and Colby, they just match up. It’s a hard fight for each other. It’s a hard fight for Colby whereas Masvidal and Leon is a good fight for Masvidal, but I think Colby’s a bad fight for Leon. It’s kind of that triangle rock-paper-scissors sort of formula.”

Covington’s biggest detraction for a title shot has been argued around his inactivity and record in his last four fights, alternating wins and losses with the latter coming in title fights against Usman. As for his wins, “Chaos” most recently defeated Masvidal, which was over one full year ago, and Tyron Woodley who is no longer on the roster.

A Masvidal title shot after a potential Burns win at UFC 287 isn’t something that people are arguing for over Covington due to logic, but more so because of the story. In 2019, “Gamebred” and Edwards got into a backstage scuffle, resulting in Masvidal’s infamous “three-piece and a soda” quote and the two have yet to settle their beef in the octagon. If that changes after what goes down in Miami remains to be seen.

“Surely Masvidal doesn’t jump Colby because Colby beat Masvidal,” Whittaker said. “It makes no sense in any way. I’ve seen crazier things, but that would be a big slap in the face.”


Champ. Alex Pereira suspects Israel Adesanya’s “ego” is causing him to make mistake with UFC 287 immediate rematch,

Rivalry. Israel Adesanya intense before UFC 287 rematch: ”This is my 8 Mile moment.”

Shakeup. Gilbert Burns refuses to “hate on” Colby Covington, but hopes “savagely” beating Jorge Masvidal disrupts his title shot.

Expectations. Glover Teixeira doubts Israel Adesanya dramatically changes strategies for UFC 287: “He’s not a wrestler.”

Problematic. Jorge Masvidal questions Colby Covington getting next title shot: ”You can’t fight if you have a brain injury.”

Fun. Alexander Volkanovski and Robert Whittaker cosplay as “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Hulk Hogan after UFC-WWE Merger.


UFC 287 Media Day.

287 fighters predict the main event.

Embedded 3.

King of Miami (Sorry, Colby).


Joe Pyfer - Next Level.

Research program.

Knock ‘em out.

2023 Week 2 Fight Week.

The GOAT women’s fight.

Stylebender camp Ep. 2

Burns meets Pereira.

Fancy UFC 287 preview.

Volk’s prediction.


How we got to UFC 287.

Allen fight camp.


No Bets Barred. MMA Fighting’s Jed Meshew and Conner Burks are joined by Tony Calatyud to break down if Alex Pereira has his number or can Israel Adesanya reclaim title at UFC 287.

Heck of a Morning. MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck discusses if Jorge Masvidal can spoil Colby Covington’s title shot. Plus, talking UFC merger with WWE.



Gave the champ a heart attack.


Kanto king.

No love from “The Answer.”

305 is live.

Took long enough.

Important question.

Going high.



Yorgan De Castro (9-3) vs. Danilo Marques (13-4); 2023 PFL 2, April 7


Fairly surprised to see Whittaker of all people with these takes. I think believing Masvidal has a good chance against Edwards more than anything.

Thanks for reading!



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