Dana White commented on the surprise weigh-in of Colby Covington on Friday morning.
On Saturday, Leon Edwards will attempt to defend his UFC welterweight title in a highly anticipated trilogy bout with former titleholder Kamaru Usman. Both fighters successfully made weight for their main event showdown, but perhaps the biggest news coming out of Friday’s official weigh-in ceremony was the presence of Colby Covington. ‘Chaos’ stepped on the scale as the official backup for the UFC 286 headliner.
Speaking to the media ahead of Saturday’s return to the O2 Arena in London, the UFC president was asked if Covington’s role as a backup meant that he would be next in line to challenge the winner of Edwards vs. Usman III.
“That I don’t know,” White responded. “He obviously stepped up to this thing and he’s obviously one of the best in the world, but yeah. He’s right there. We always have a backup. My son actually hit me up and said, ‘Dad, I don’t understand this. What’s going on? Why did Colby Covington weigh in?’ I had to explain it to him. There’s always a backup for a fight. It just never gets as much attention as Colby did today.”
Colby Covington weighed in and picked up a check as backup for #EdwardsUsman #UFC286 pic.twitter.com/uc4RAdr7bX
— MMA NOW (@MMANOWTV) March 17, 2023
Dana White Insists Colby Covington’s Role at UFC 286 Wasn’t Kept a Secret
Colby Covington’s involvement during Friday’s festivities was unbeknownst to practically everyone, including Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman. Despite that, White insisted that the promotion by no means kept ‘Chaos’ a secret, suggesting that the media simply didn’t ask who would act as Saturday’s backup.
“We didn’t keep him a secret. I didn’t know it was such a big secret. We’re out there doing what we do. I’m not really aware of what you guys know and what you don’t know until it happens. It wasn’t anything that was being kept a secret. We have a backup for every fight. It’s just never a big deal. Nobody ever really asked, ‘Who’s the backup for this fight?’ It’s not anything we ever really promote.”
Dana White also shared his appreciation for Covington and every fighter who steps up and takes the backup role despite the likelihood that they won’t actually compete.
“I’m happy with all the guys that do it,” White said. “These guys commit to a camp and cut the weight and stay in shape in case anything goes down and they’re ready to go. I obviously appreciate and respect everybody that does it.”