It seems like Colby Covington is not content with just dominating one division or fighting for one title. The American, who is set to challenge Leon Edwards for the welterweight title later this year, has also set his sights on middleweight gold and is confident he can defeat current 185-pound champion Israel Adesanya.
Covington doesn’t anticipate a striking battle with Adesanya. Instead, he believes his wrestling skills will be the key to victory. “I think that’s a huge fight, and it’s a fight of high magnitude,” Covington told MMA Fighting. “I like the matchup, to be honest. I don’t think he can hang with me. I think I take him down, I beat him from pillar to post, and I just break him inside that Octagon. He can’t hang with the cardio king. He’s not ready for all-American steel and twisted sex appeal.”
While Adesanya has been dominant in the middleweight division, with wins over the likes of Paulo Costa and Robert Whittaker, he has struggled with takedown defense. Adesanya has been taken down nearly 20 times in his UFC career, which Covington believes he can exploit. “I’m not just going to shoot one takedown; I’m going to shoot 5,000 takedowns and be in your face and break you,” Covington said.
Of course, before Covington can choose to battle Adesanya for the middleweight title and possibly win, he would first have to beat Edwards, and that would not be a walkover.
Another matter is for Adesanya to be interested in such a fight in the first place. But seeing that he has beaten everybody of consequence in the middleweight division, it is possible that he might set be interested in a fresh challenger, and Covington might be the perfect match.
Covington is known for his trash talk, and a potential matchup against Adesanya would surely result in a war of words. However, with both fighters known for their striking prowess, it remains to be seen whether Covington can implement his wrestling game plan against the middleweight champion.