UFC play-by-play man Jon Anik is buying Colby Covington’s story about Jon Jones keeping him from sliding into the co-main event of UFC 295 in November.
Earlier this week, Covington made waves while speaking with former middleweight world champion Michael Bisping, alleging that the UFC was full steam ahead to book him for a co-main event clash with reigning welterweight titleholder Leon Edwards at the promotion’s 30th-anniversary spectacular in November, the same night Jon Jones is slated to defend the heavyweight championship against Stipe Miocic.
According to Covington, Jon Jones has advised the UFC against putting Covington on the card, thus preventing what would likely be a very ugly, albeit entertaining encounter at the pre-fight press event.
Speaking with The Schmo ahead of Saturday night’s highly anticipated UFC 292 card in Boston, commentator Jon Anik suggested the Covington was likely telling the truth and as a result, could see his title tilt with Leon Edwards pushed to December.
“We do have some news now. It broke on Michael Bigsping’s podcast, Colby Covington suggesting that Jon Jones doesn’t want to be on the same card with Colby Covington so perhaps that’s the hold-up,” Anik said. “There have been rumblings that they want to do Leon Edwards and Colby Covington in Madison Square Garden and now this actually makes some semblance of sense.
“Will they pivot to Belal Muhammad and Leon Edwards at Madison Square Garden? I don’t necessarily think they would do that. I think it’s more likely that they would delay Leon and Colby until December, but we’ll see, man. I really do take Colby at his word that maybe Jon Jones just doesn’t want him anywhere near that press conference in November at Madison Square Garden. But I do believe before the year’s out, we need a welterweight championship fight.”
— Fight 360 (@Fight_360) August 17, 2023
Jon Anik on the Potential December Return of Conor McGregor
Speaking of December, Jon Anik also addressed the possibility of seeing Conor McGregor make his long-awaited return to the Octagon before the end of 2023.
“Last time we spoke, I was less ambitious that we would get it in the fourth quarter of 2023,” Anik said. “I do believe you’re going to get this fight in December and if you don’t, it’ll probably be that first pay-per-view in January. But with respect to all of the haters out there for Conor McGregor, you know Chris Weidman broke his leg a few months before McGregor did and Weidman’s coming back this weekend.
“So part of the reason, and say what you want about USADA and there’s a lot of unknowns when it comes to Conor McGregor, but a part of the reason why he hasn’t fought and hasn’t been part of an active competition cycle is because a leg break like this takes two years to recover from.”
Anik also isn’t buying the popular belief that Conor McGregor’s wealth has drained him of his desire to compete.
“I do believe Conor has an appetite for competition,” Anik added. “I think too much has been made of maybe the fact that he doesn’t really want to be in there. I can’t tell you how many pro fighters have come up to me and said, ‘Conor’s never fighting again.’ Totally disagree with that. I would say 40% chance December. I’m cautiously optimistic.”