Chael Sonnen believes that UFC welterweight Colby Covington could return for a chance at gold.
‘Chaos’ has been out of action since UFC 272 in March. In that outing, Covington scored a lopsided unanimous decision victory over Jorge Masvidal. In the weeks following the fight, ‘Gamebred’ allegedly attacked his friend-turned-foe in a Miami bar.
Due to the attack, the former UFC interim welterweight champion has been on the sidelines. Gilbert Burns recently stated that Covington could be out until next year, due to the severity of the alleged assault.
In his time away from the cage, the welterweight division has been turned on its head. Last Saturday night in Salt Lake City, Leon Edwards defeated Kamaru Usman with a devastating head-kick knockout. With that, the long reign of ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ was over.
Since UFC 278, Dana White and the UFC have stated another meeting between the welterweights is in order. The UFC president has teased the bout could even take place at Wembley Stadium in the U.K.
In the event, that fight doesn’t happen, Chael Sonnen has another opponent in mind for Leon Edwards. On The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, the fighter-turned-analyst stated Colby Covington could return for a shot at gold.
The 45-year-old pointed out how there aren’t many other welterweight contenders at the moment. If Usman can’t return in time, with other fighters being tied up, ‘Chaos’ could step directly into a title fight.
“I’m not avocating for [Colby Covington to get a title shot], but I believe it is very possible. I believe Kamaru Usman is the obvious answer, but there’s things you or I don’t know. Like, for example, we don’t know how long the commission will suspend him, we don’t know if there’s an injury… Colby Covington is the clearest number one contender the sport has but he can’t fight for the title.”
Chael Sonnen continued, “…I think you’re going to have to sweeten the pot to get him in there, and I don’t believe there’s a lot of players left on the board. We’re told Gilbert Burns is going to be busy with Masvidal, Belal Muhammad is busy with Sean Brady… I just think there’s opportunity right now.”
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