colby covington

Report: Colby Covington vs Robbie Lawler verbally agreed to headline in New Jersey

It didn’t take long for the UFC to find a main event for their return to New Jersey.  According to Brett Okamoto of ESPN, citing Dana White, a welterweight fight between top contenders Robbie Lawler and Colby Covington has been verbally agreed to headline UFC Newark.

The making of this fight comes while it was widely expected that Colby Covington, who won the interim title at UFC 225 in 2018, would challenge newly-crowned champion Kamaru Usman. The welterweight title changed hands back at UFC 235 when Usman defeated Tyron Woodley by unanimous decision. Following Usman’s win there was a confrontation between Covington, Usman, and Usman’s manager Ali Abdelaziz in a casino, which set the stage for a potential fight between the two in the future.

Following the announcement of Covington vs Lawler, Brett Okamoto also released a statement from Usman who said he is targeting a return in November.

Covington hasn’t fought since winning the interim title at UFC 225, and will face Robbie Lawler who is coming off a disappointing loss to Ben Askren at UFC 235. Lawler was scheduled to fight former champion Tyron Woodley in a rematch this month, but Woodley withdrew from the fight to give his hand injury more time to heal up.

In his last fight back in March, Lawler saw his fight against Ben Askren come to an end after referee Herb Dean said he felt Lawler’s arm go limp during a submission attempt, and Askren came out victorious in his UFC debut.

During media day for UFC 239, Ben Askren told reporters that he feels he has a hunch he will fight for the title if he can get past Jorge Masvidal next month, he believes he’s next in line for a title fight.

The welterweight division seems to be getting pretty busy at the top with Ben Askren facing Jorge Masvidal and Covington fighting Lawler, all while waiting for the return of Kamaru Usman.