Belal Muhammad was surprised to see Colby Covington at the official weigh-ins for UFC 286 on Friday—but not for the same reason as fans, fighters and pundits alike.
For several months, Muhammad has tried to get a fight booked against the former two-time title contender. In an interview with Helen Yee, ‘Remember the Name’ revealed the UFC offered him ‘Chaos’, but the fight fell through (twice)—with Muhammad claiming that the promotion could not ‘find’ Covington when it was time to sign on the dotted line.
However, it looks like the UFC finally managed to get a hold of the man. The former UFC interim welterweight champion arrived in London as the backup fighter for Leon Edwards vs. Kamaru Usman III on Saturday. Seeing his potential opponent on weight for another fight at UFC 286 irked Muhammad, who revealed that Covington turned him down for the exact same event.
“Lol I asked to fight Colby on this card, he didn’t want to,” tweeted Muhammad. “He’s not fighting contenders.
Lol I asked to fight colby on this card he didn’t want to he’s not fighting contenders— Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) March 16, 2023
“He turns down a fight on the same card so he can weigh in and not have to fight.”
He turns down a fight on the same card so he can weigh in and not have to fight https://t.co/D4lVqABH1n— Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) March 17, 2023
In his most recent appearance, Covington earned a unanimous decision over Jorge Masvidal at UFC 272 a year ago. Though he originally challenged then-champion Usman to a third fight, the 35-year-old would not return for the rest of 2022 after sustaining several injuries stemming from an alleged assault by ‘Gamebred’ outside of a restaurant in Miami Beach.
Since then, Usman was dethroned by Edwards, who stunned the ‘Nigerian Nightmare’ with a head kick in their fight at UFC 278 this past August. And Muhammad entered the top five of the division with a first-round TKO of Sean Brady at UFC 280 in October.
Whether Covington vs. Muhammad happens remains to be seen. UFC president Dana White says the former is ‘right there’ as far as contention is concerned, so he is either due for an eliminator or championship opportunity soon.
About the author: Kristen King is a writer for Bloody Elbow. She has covered combat sports since 2016. (full bio)