With Gilbert Burns pulling out of his scheduled title bout against reigning UFC Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, this left the champion without an opponent for the upcoming UFC 251 on Fight Island on July 11th. Two top UFC Welterweights, Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal have both offered to step up and challenge Usman for the Welterweight strap. Let’s sit and think about this for a moment, Kamaru Usman is yet to confirm that he is going to take on a late replacement and Colby and Masvidal both offering to step up. Why not have Covington and Masvidal battle it out on Fight Island for the next title shot later in 2020?
Colby Covington originally made his voice heard when he put on a dominant performance over former UFC title challenger, Demian Maia in Brazil when he jumped on the mic after the Unanimous Decision victory was given to him and called for a shot against then UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley. Colby then went on to defeat former UFC Lightweight Champion Rafael Dos Anjos for the Interim UFC Welterweight title by Unanimous Decision while the undisputed UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley sat on the sidelines after shoulder surgery. Shortly after, Covington required Nasal surgery which resulted in him being stripped of his title and Tyron Woodley went on to defeat Darren Till at UFC 228 instead. Woodley then lost the best the following March to current UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman at UFC 235 which led to Covington going on to defeat former UFC Welterweight Champion Robbie Lawler by Unanimous Decision to set up the bout between Usman and Covington at UFC 245, when the two rivals met at UFC 245 last December, Covington showed that he belongs in the octagon with the best when he had some great moments against Usman throughout the fight and people believed that he could’ve been winning the fight going into the fifth and final round. Usman showed his championship mindset and dropped Covington twice in the fifth round before landing some ground and pound to get the TKO finish over Covington. Since then Colby has protested for an immediate rematch has he feels that the fight was stopped prematurely and that he is entitled to an immediate rematch without having to fight any top contenders.
Jorge Masvidal had three consecutive knockout wins in 2019 starting with Darren Till in March in Tills Country Capital, London, England. Although Till dropped Masvidal early into the first round, Masvidal changed the course of his career forever when he viciously KO’d Darren Till in the second round to silence the English crowd. Ben Askren was in attendance for Masvidals knockout over Darren Till and going into it thought Till was going to beat Masvidal because he considered Masvidal a journeyman, Masvidal went on to fight Ben Askren at UFC 239 the following a great amount of trash talking coming from Ben Askren towards Jorge Masvidal. This clearly didn’t take Masvidals eye off the goal of a UFC title shot when he starched Ben Askren in the opening 5 seconds with a flying knee. At UFC 241, Nate Diaz returned after a 3 year hiatus following his second bout with Conor McGregor to defeat former UFC Lightweight champion Anthony Pettis at Pettis’ newly found weight class, Welterweight. Nate beat Pettis over the 3 round bout to claim the Unanimous Decision win before calling Jorge Masvidal out for his next bout which was scheduled for the one off, BMF belt at UFC 244 in Madison Square Garden last November. Masvidal put on the performance of his career when he convincingly beat Diaz over the period of 3 rounds of their scheduled 5 round Main Event before the doctor waved the bout off between Rounds 3 and 4 due to a cut that had opened up over Nate Diaz’s eye following the aggressive strikes Masvidal had landed on Diaz over the 3 rounds. This led to Masvidal claiming the BMF title and left Masvidal to wait for the next shot at the belt after the result of the Usman vs Covington bout had occurred. The original plan for UFC 251 was that Jorge Masvidal would challenge Kamaru Usman for the title but due to financial agreements between Masvidal and the UFC, the fight fell through and Gilbert Burns was given the fight against Usman.
With Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal going back and forth recently over social media and showing an interest in fighting each other in the future, now is a better time than ever, with Masvidal more than likely being paid whatever he feels like receiving to step in short notice and Covington after a title bout. Why not have Masvidal and Covington Main Event UFC 251 for the BMF title or an Interim UFC Welterweight title to unify with current champion Kamaru Usman later in 2020?