What’s Next for Colby Covington After UFC 296?

Colby Covington certainly talked the talk, but he didn’t walk the walk at UFC 296 on December 16. “Chaos” would weaponize dead parents at the UFC 296 press conference, but his pairing with Leon Edwards easily made for the worst fight of the night.

At 35 years-of-age and 0-3 in title fights, Covington falls into a bracket of fighters that will likely never sniff a title opportunity again. And whilst Covington eyed a matchup with Stephen Thompson during the post-fight presser, there are some other options for him.

Fight Another Welterweight Contender

There’s a few possible matchups for Covington to consider. Either Belal Muhammad or Shavkat Rakhmonov are guaranteed the next shot at Edwards, so “Chaos” could fight the one who doesn’t get the opportunity in the meantime.

Covington sits one spot above Gilbert Burns in the rankings, they are at a similar age and point in their respective careers. If Covington feels like taking a risk — perhaps to make a statement — he could consider fighting someone like Vicente Luque or Sean Brady.

Thompson represents a favorable matchup for Covington. “Wonderboy” is aged and his kryptonite is pressure wrestlers. If fans really want to see “Chaos” redeem himself after UFC 296, he should take a risk.

Retire or Cash in

Covington was absent for nearly 700 days before his fight with Edwards, and even with this much time to prepare it was the worst he had looked in his 16 fight UFC career. “Chaos” has had three title opportunities in his last five bouts and his days as a real contender appear to be over. It could be time for Covington to hang up the gloves, or it could be time for him to take a similar route to other big name fighters such as Michael Chandler.

‘Money fights’ are still there to be made for Covington, who could venture into other weight divisions or challenge big names which he’s had verbal spats with in the past.

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Mathew Riddle MMA

Mathew Riddle

Mathew is a combat sports journalist & designer. His past bylines include Sports Illustrated, Heavy on UFC, Sport Skeeda, MMA UK, and MMA Sucka.