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Ugly Truth Behind Dana White’s Decision Comes to Light in Long-Time Insider’s Revelation of Colby Covington-Leon Edwards Match-Up at UFC 296

Published 09/29/2023, 6:42 AM EDT

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The main event for the last pay-per-view of the year has been set. Leon Edwards will defend his title against Colby Covington to headline UFC 296 on December 16. Meanwhile, veteran MMA official and insider John McCarthy believes that ‘Chaos’ acquiring the welterweight title shot may just be a favor from UFC CEO Dana White.

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The UFC president-turned-CEO announced Colby Covington as the next welterweight title contender after UFC 286. He took up the role of the backup fighter for the Leon Edwards vs. Kamaru Usman fight on short notice. This prompted Dana White to give ‘Chaos’ Covington a title shot. However, not everybody is in favor of the likes of ‘Big’ John McCarthy and Josh Thomson naming other deserving candidates for the 170lbs title shot.

Is Colby Covington getting the ‘Dana White privilege’?


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On the ‘Weighing In‘ podcast, John McCarthy and Josh Thomson discussed the UFC 296 main event. Thomson gleefully mentioned how the bout could be an interesting one, given how different both Colby Covington’s and Leon Edwards’ fighting styles are. However, Thomson then turned his attention to another issue and asked the veteran official, Do you call this a ‘Dana White Privilege’ fight?

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John McCarthy assessed the situation and agreed that it was indeed Dana White favoring the former interim champion. Moreover, he added, “Let’s be honest. Are there other people that are more deserving? Yeah, there are. I am just gonna say it straight out.”


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Likewise, John McCarthy shifted his focus to Covington’s recent record and had a lot more to say. He has not been as active as some of the other fighters in the division and the veteran referee even pointed out that he does not boast a great record, with a 3-2 win in his last bouts. Despite his setbacks against Kamaru Usman, his wins come against fighters on losing streaks themselves- Tyron Woodley, Robbie Lawler, and Jorge Masvidal. Although he has a win, there are other fresh names that have longer win streaks.

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John McCarthy believes there are more deserving contenders

The 60-year-old veteran MMA official did not like the idea that Colby Covington was getting the shot at the title.  As such, instead of ‘Chaos’, Jon McCarthy believes that “There are guys that are on long winning streaks,” deserving to be the frontrunner to fight Leon Edwards. And it seems like even Leon ‘Rocky’ Edwards agrees.


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Leon Edwards disclosed at ‘The MMA Hour With Ariel Helwani’ that ‘it makes no sense’ for Covington to get the title shot, given his trajectory so far. “… [Covington] ain’t done much. He’s coming off of a loss then he beats Masvidal. Sat out for, like, a year and a half, went to court, I still don’t get the case for him to fight for a title, they’re trying to make it, it doesn’t make sense to me at all.

Regardless of what anybody has to say, Dana White has already made up his mind about the fight. Leon Edwards and Colby Covington will fight to wrap up 2023 and fans are foreseeing an exciting fight. It remains to be seen if ‘Chaos’ finally becomes the undisputed champion or if ‘Rocky’ continues his phenomenal winning streak.


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Written by:

Himanga Mahanta


One take at a time

Himanga Mahanta is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. He has a passion for combat sports and a deep understanding of the intricacies of MMA. With his expertise and extensive knowledge, Himanga provides in-depth coverage of UFC events and fighters, bringing his readers closer to the action and the athletes they admire.
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Edited by:

Yeswanth Praveen