Colby Covington is without a doubt one of the best welterweights on the planet. Most pundits had considered him the second best behind Kamaru Usman. With Leon Edwards’s recent coronation, however, we must reconsider this narrative.
Covington has been rightfully praised for his two losses to Kamaru Usman. Both fights were incredibly competitive throughout. Yet, apart from those fights, his resume has not aged particularly well.
When Covington captured the interim belt against Rafael dos Anjos, many had favored RDA heading into that fight. The former lightweight champion had won three bouts at welterweight, and at the time Covington’s win was a major statement. Since then, however, RDA lost decisively to Usman, Edwards, and Michael Chiesa before moving back down to lightweight.
Covington has also been lauded for his dominant performance against former welterweight champion Robbie Lawler. In that fight, he set a record for the most significant strikes landed, a phenomenal accomplishment. Lawler, however, has been on a skid since that fight, with his only win coming against a diminished Nick Diaz.
In a heated grudge match, Covington scored a fifth round TKO over former champion Tyron Woodley. Again, Covington was dominant from bell to bell. However, Woodley was already on the decline and was later removed from the UFC after another loss to Vicente Luque.
Covington’s latest victory came against Jorge Masvidal in an even bigger grudge match. Masvidal had two decisive losses to Usman heading into their fight. Covington was impressive as always, but again did not fight the toughest available opponent.
The fact remains that Colby has not faced the likes of Gilbert Burns, Khamzat Chimaev, or Belal Muhammad. He can clearly compete with them, but it is still too early to conclude that he will definitely beat them. Furthermore, even if he were to get past them, we do not know how he would fare against Leon Edwards. The coming year may reveal who both the best and second best welterweights are.
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