UFC interim welterweight champion Colby Covington may not get the coronation he was expecting when he beat Rafael dos Anjos last month. The man who was awarded an interim 170-pound belt when full champion Tyron Woodley was deemed unable to fight this summer may not even get the next shot at the champion at all. Plus, we have more tidbits of news around the cage on Thursday, July 19.
Covington out of title picture?
According to ESPN's Ariel Helwani, Covington may be on the outside looking in for the welterweight title after being awarded the interim belt at UFC 225 in June. Helwani reports that Covington is unable to make UFC 228 on Sept. 8 to face Woodley and that UFC is now looking to book Darren Till in the title fight. Covington, who has become a lightning rod of sorts for his social media and in-cage antics, would become just the third fighter stripped of an interim title in company history.
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The report seemed to be confirmed by Till's tweets early on Thursday morning.
Colby out son, it’s me & you now. Accept the fight!!— Darren Till (@darrentill2) July 19, 2018
Till is coming off a unanimous decision win over Stephen Thompson in May, but has also missed weight in two of his last four fights in UFC. Woodley has been out of action since beating Demian Maia via unanimous decision at UFC 214 last July.
More UFC news, rumors
- Some more bad news struck light heavyweight Volkan Oezdemir on Thursday. The former title challenger was removed from his upcoming bout with Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 227 because of a broken nose, according to MMAFighting and ESPN. It's the third fight Oezdemir has been removed from in the last two months as the native of Switzerland awaited trial for assault charges in Florida and had issues with his Visa. It is unknown whether Gustafsson will remain on the card scheduled to take place on Aug. 4.
- Wednesday was a good day for Anderson Silva. The former pound-for-pound king was reinstated to fighting from suspension by USADA after it was discovered that he took a tainted supplement. Silva noted in an interview with MMAFighting that a fight with fellow legend Georges St-Pierre was still a possibility. "Anything is possible in the UFC, man," Silva said. "It's a very eclectic company, with a broad vision of the sport. They are going through a new moment, a moment of entertainment, so anything can happen." It's a fight that many fans have clamored for since the two were at the top of the sport.
- Sage Northcutt might have quietly had his last fight with UFC over the weekend. Northcutt, who scored a second-round TKO win over Zak Ottow at UFC Fight Night Boise, was at the end of his current contract with the company, according to his coach Urijah Faber. It is unclear if he will re-sign with the company just yet, but Northcutt has turned things around since moving up to welterweight, amassing a 3-1 record and 11-2 overall.