Riding high on a three-fight win-streak, rising welterweight Colby Covington has been looking for a step up in competition for some time. Unfortunately for him, finding a willing dance partner has proven incredibly difficult.
Thankfully, after being turned down by former lightweight champ Rafael Dos Anjos, he’s now been booked for a scrap with Dong Hyun Kim at UFC Fight Night Singapore this June. Finding a willing dance partner, however, was not easy.
On Wednesday’s edition of BJ Penn Radio, Covington elaborated on the difficulty he had getting someone to accept a fight with him.
“I’ve been trying to look for the big tests, the big challenges where there’s a highly-ranked guy where maybe somebody thinks he’s better than me or he’s supposed to beat me, but I’m going to rise to the occasion in my next fight,” he said.
“They’re all turning down fights man,” he continued. “Guys like Rafael Dos Anjos, Ryan LaFlare, Matt Brown, Kamaru Usman, all these guys in the top-15 range, they’re all scared man.”
Covington then explained that he was recently told by UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby that he’s the most turned-down fighter in the welterweight division at the moment.
“Sean Shelby, he went out there and he offered the fight to every single guy that was ranked, and almost every single guy that was ranked turned me down,” he said. “They said ‘nope, I don’t want that fight, I’m not looking for that fight.”
“Sean Shelby said I’m the most turned-down fighter right now,” he continued.
From there, Covington admitted that, while it’s flattering to be turned-down by top-ranked welterweights, all he ever wanted was a big fight to prove how good he is. He’ll get this chance against Kim.
“I’ve trained with Robbie Lawler, I’ve trained with Tyron Woodley,” he said. “Those guys know how good I am. You can ask them yourselves. It’s cool that these guys are turning me down, but that’s not going to help my career. I want a career-changing fight where we’re not talking about Colby as a [prospect] anymore. This fight [with Kim], I’m becoming a contender. A legit contender for the UFC welterweight title.”
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This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/6/2017.