Ariel Helwani doesn’t understand why Colby Covington is getting the next UFC welterweight title shot.
Shortly after UFC 286, Dana White announced that Covington would be the next title challenger for Leon Edwards. Although ‘Chaos’ is an elite welterweight, there is an argument for other contenders being more deserving of a title shot. During an episode of The MMA Hour, Helwani had this to say about the situation:
“Now we’re gonna give Colby Covington [the next title shot], all do respect [he] is one of the best welterweights in the world, lost his two title fights, coming off one win over a year ago, and I hear, oh, he flew over and made weight, so he deserves it. It doesn’t always work out like that. Are you telling me that if Anthony Smith made weight back in January, he was getting a title shot? He wasn’t getting a title shot. The backup fighter isn’t always the guy…”
Covington last fought in March 2022, defeating Jorge Masvidal by unanimous decision. Since then, the former interim welterweight champion disappeared from the media after allegedly being assaulted by Masvidal in Miami. There weren’t many updates from ‘Chaos’ before he appeared at the UFC 286 weigh-ins, leading to the UFC prescient declaring him the next title challenger.
Dana White says Colby Covington will fight for the title next "no matter what" happens between Jorge Masvidal and Gilbert Burns 🏆 #UFC286 pic.twitter.com/Bd1MouGDOh
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) March 19, 2023
Watch Ariel Helwani discuss the UFC welterweight division below:
Ariel Helwani believes Belal Muhammad should be pissed about Colby Covington getting the next welterweight title shot
Dana White also announced Khamzat Chimaev will be moving up to the middleweight division. As a result, Belal Muhammad arguably deserves to fight Leon Edwards next more than anyone. Muhammad hasn’t lost in nine bouts, with his only blemish being a no-contest against Edwards.
During the same episode of The MMA Hour, Ariel Helwani had this to say about Muhammad:
“Give it [the next welterweight title shot] to him [Belal Muhammad]. There’s a better story with Belal and Leon than there is with Colby and Leon. They fought and it ended unceremoniously… He [Belal] should be f*cking pissed off right now. He should be absolutely pissed off that they are trying to make him vs. Shavkat Rakhmonov in July…”
Edwards believes he should have a say in who he fights next. With that said, Dana White and the UFC will likely do whatever is best for the business, which they seem to think is Colby Covington. Only time will tell if Covington ends up getting the next welterweight title shot.