Former interim welterweight champion Colby Covington and former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler have verbally agreed to fight each other at UFC Fight Night 156 which will take place at the Prudential Center in Newark on August 3.
As great as this match-up is, it has taken MMA fans by surprise as it was widely assumed that Covington was in line for a title shot against current champion Kamaru Usman.
Ariel Helwani of ESPN got in touch with Colby Covington and asked him the reason behind accepting a fight with Robbie Lawler instead of fighting for the title next.
Colby Covington vs. Robbie Lawler is the main event for the Aug. 3 card in Newark. First reported by @bokamotoESPN.
I asked Covington why he’s taking this fight when he appeared so close to getting a title shot, and here’s what he said: pic.twitter.com/4zEZP3ocsI
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) June 25, 2019
“UFC needed a main event on short notice so I agreed to defend my title in my first defence against the last real champion this division has had,” said Colby Covington. “A bigger man and name than ‘Marty Fakenewsman’, the man Ben Askren is terrified of and couldn’t beat: living legend of combat sports Robbie Lawler. A former UFC champion and Hodge Trophy recipient We used to train together. He knows who I am and what I’m capable of and why I’m the present and future of this division.”
This will be Covington’s first fight inside the Octagon after more than a year’s layoff. He last fought against Rafael Dos Anjos at UFC 225 which took place on June 10, 2018, in Chicago and defeated him via unanimous decision.
On the other hand, Lawler is coming off of a controversial submission loss against Ben Askren at UFC 235 which took place in March. He was initially scheduled to fight Tyron Woodley in a rematch, but the fight had to be called off as Woodley suffered an injury.