Exclusive: Vicente Luque Critical of Colby Covington Getting Another Title Opportunity: ‘I Don’t See How it Makes Sense’

Vicente Luque doesn't understand how Colby Covington found himself in another title fight despite sitting out for more than a year

Vicente Luque
Courtesy of @UFCNews on Twitter

Vicente Luque doesn’t quite understand how Colby Covington has found himself in yet another UFC title fight despite sitting on the sidelines for more than a year. 

On August 12, ‘The Silent Assassin’ will return to the Octagon for a high-stakes clash with former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos. The pair will headline a UFC Fight Night card expected to emanate from The APEX in Las Vegas. Coming off back-to-back losses against Belal Muhammad and Geoff Neal, Luque will look to stay relevant in the welterweight title picture by picking off a former world champion.

Ahead of his highly anticipated return, Luque sat down with Mike Owens in a MiddleEasy exclusive interview to discuss the current state of the 170-pound division. Asked for his thoughts on division gatekeeper Colby Covington walking into yet another title opportunity despite going 2-2 in his last four bouts, Luque struggled to find how it makes any sense. 

“I don’t see how it makes sense for you to just sit out, not fight, and then get a title shot,” Luque said. “Yes, he’s coming off a win and okay, he’s a tough guy. I think his last two losses were to Kamaru [Usman] so it was the former champion, but it still doesn’t make sense in my mind. Especially when I look at Belal and yeah, it’s not the most exciting fight, but he’s winning. He’s after it and getting big wins against tough guys.

“He beat me. He beat Gilbert [Burns]. He’s been beating tough guys. Guys who are extremely dangerous in the division so I don’t know. In my mind, it should be Belal,” Luque continued. “He should go out there, fight for that title, and see whatever happens. Colby should fight one more fight. Go fight somebody else. Maybe after I have my fight, if everything works out, we can go and fight, but I think that’s what you’ve got to do. You cannot just wait, sit, and then be rewarded for that. Not saying that he’s a bad fighter. Not saying whatever in that sense, but you gotta fight. That’s what we do. We’re fighters.”

Vicente Luque Offers Thoughts on Edwards vs. Covington

As for how he sees the inevitable title tilt between Leon Edwards and Colby Covington, Vicente Luque was a little uncertain. He expects the absolute best version of Covington to show up. But considering Edwards’ success against Kamaru Usman, the man that has already beaten Covington on two separate occasions, Luque leaned toward Edwards walking away with his UFC gold intact. 

“Kamaru was the guy that I really looked at and said, ‘This guy is a challenge to decipher.’ To go out there and beat him and Leon did it two times. That speaks a lot about Leon’s evolution and how tough he is. I don’t know. It’s hard to say. We have a lot of tough guys. I would say the best Colby [Covington] I’ve ever seen can’t give a lot of trouble to Leon.

“He can maybe go in there and beat him for sure, but we don’t know. Colby has been out for a long time so I think it’s going to be the best Colby we’ve ever seen. So that’s also hard to predict how the fight is going to go. I think Leon is in the best moment he’s ever been. Definitely mature physically. He’s mature mentally. You see his confidence in there. He’s doing everything he’s got to do.”

No official announcement has been made regarding Leon Edwards vs. Colby Covington, but UFC President Dana White has made it abundantly clear that Covington is the next man in line. 

Published on May 23, 2023 at 1:31 pm
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