Leon Edwards will defend his welterweight title against Colby Covington next after defeating Kamaru Usman in London, Dana White has confirmed.
Having knocked out ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ in stunning fashion to win the belt last August, Edwards sealed a majority decision win over Usman to retain his world title back on home soil in their trilogy fight on Saturday night.
Covington twice challenged for the belt when it was in the possession of Usman, losing in 2019 and 2021 and was in attendance at the O2 Arena to watch Edwards pick up another win and cement his status as the undisputed king at 170lbs.
The American was ready to step in were one of Edwards or Usman to pull out of Saturday night’s fight but UFC president White says he is now next in line to challenge the champion.
‘I don’t know when we will do it but that is the fight that makes sense,’ White told a press conference.
‘Colby came here and cut weight and did everything to be here for this fight and he deserves the fight.
‘Not to mention the fact that he is the second or third best guy in the world.’
Covington last fought in March 2022 when he sealed an unanimous decision win over Jorge Masvidal.
Masvidal himself has history with Edwards, brawling with the Birmingham fighter backstage at the O2 Arena back in 2019 with a fight between the two failing to materialise last year.
‘I don’t know how that makes sense,’ Edwards said on the possibility of fighting Covington next,’ Edwards said.
‘He hasn’t fought for over a year.
‘He’s been sat out, not injured, I just don’t get how he just slides in for the world title shot when there are other guys who have been active and fighting.
‘I feel like I’ve earned my way so I feel I should decide who I fight next.’
While Edwards remains keen to settle his beef with Masvidal, White insisted Covington remains ahead of him in the queue for a title shot.
MORE : Leon Edwards beats Kamaru Usman to defend welterweight title at UFC 286 in trilogy fight
MORE : Inside the Leon Edwards camp: Brother Fabian reveals Kamaru Usman’s fate and explains why their mum can’t watch their fights
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First appear at Dana White reveals Colby Covington is next in line to fight Leon Edwards for UFC welterweight title