Former UFC interim welterweight champion Colby Covington is open to a fight with fast-rising stud talent, and “participation trophy” winner, Khamzat Chimaev if that’s what the promotion wants to see in 2022.
Covington (16-3) is just weeks removed from coming up short in a second bid to dethrone reigning 170-pound king Kamaru Usman. Despite this most recent setback to the top name on the MixedMartialArts.com pound-for-pound list, “Chaos” remains one of the elite talents in the division. With his dance card now open, many wonder what could be next for Covington inside the Octagon. And a match with Chimaev (10-0) is a bout that’s been suggested even before his loss at UFC 268.
The two-time title challenger and “Borz” are separated by eight spots in the welterweight rankings, however, Covington is open to the idea of a showdown between the pair, if the UFC is willing to risk Chimaev needing a hospital visit after fighting the top-ranked star.
Colby Covington is open to sending Khamzat Chimaev to the hospital
“He’s a joke. He needs to beat someone worthy — someone in the top 5, someone in the top of the rankings, not just fight hand-picked people. What does he have, four UFC fights? The media loves to rush these kids and these hype jobs. This is fighting, man. People can get seriously hurt from rushing people like that,” Covington told MMAFighting on Thursday. “But if you guys want to rush a guy, take some time off of his life and send him for hospital treatment, then yeah, the door is open for that.”
Covington calls Chimaev the MMA leader of the ‘handout generation’
Covington, 33, won 10 of 11 fights inside the Octagon before he ever received a shot at the lineal welterweight title. Yet the uber-popular Chimaev is already viewed as a possible title challenger next year after only two of his four UFC wins came at 170-pounds. His two other victories came at middleweight.
That seeming fast track to the top rubs Covington the wrong way. Since he says he earned his championship opportunities in the “American way,” and wasn’t a part of the new “handout generation” in the promotion, and around the world.
“I think what we’ve learned with, not only in sports, not only in the UFC, but with this world and the way it’s changed these days, this is the handout generation. And it’s the participation trophy generation. This guy is nothing more than a participation trophy winner, a handout winner, and if that’s what they want to do, that’s what it is,” said Covington.
“I don’t really look into what other people are doing, or what they’re being awarded. I know my path. I know my journey. I know what it took to get here. I took the long road. I didn’t cut any corners, I didn’t cheat. I’ve never cheated in the octagon or outside of the octagon, and I took the hard road to get here,” he added. “I feel like that’s the true American way. Nothing is given to us here and adversity is filled every single day. We have to overcome these obstacles if we want to make it to the path of success.”
Chimaev last fought in October at UFC 267. On the main card pay-per-view portion of the card, the Chechen standout scored a dominant submission win over Li Jingliang in a little over three minutes. It was his fourth straight in the Octagon and kept his record unblemished after 10 fights.
Is a Covington vs Chimaev scrap the fight to make early in 2022?