As Colby Covington was summoned to the scales for the UFC 286 backup opponent, the MMA community seemed gobsmacked.
Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman were called into question regarding the actual rumor that Covington had been seen in London and whether or not he was the backup fighter at the UFC 286 news conference. Other dismissed it since both claimed this had been the first time, they learned of it.
A great deal of discussion about the reserve fighter for this Saturday's trilogy match involving Edwards and Usman. Nowadays days, there is always a reserve opponent for high-profile UFC title matches in case any of the superstars withdraws.
Enthusiasts discovered Colby Covington was really the backup fighter earlier this morning. Covington responded to his weigh-in on social media and alluded to himself as the real main event. He won't, however, since Edwards and Usman made the scales.
It's unclear whether Covington shall contest the Edwards-Usman 3 winner for the championship despite becoming the official backup combatant. 'Chaos' hasn't competed since beating Jorge Masvidal by decision in March of last year, and he's been quiet ever since because of the investigations into the alleged attack on him by Masvidal.
But the fans have raised questions regarding the eligibility of Covington being the backup fighter as he has been 0-2 in the title fights both against Kamaru Usman. Both of those fights have been very tough and competitive.
Covington won an interim welterweight championship in June 2018 by defeating former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos, however, he was later removed from it and never competed in a title unification match.
Overall, it's unclear what Covington's ultimate goals are with this move. According to Dana White, Colby is ready to fight but it looks like he has been ducking the top welterweight contenders and ultimately chose to become a replacement for the UFC 286 main event. But his presence as a backup fighter at UFC 286 adds an extra layer of excitement to an already highly anticipated event. Fans will have to wait and see if he ends up making an appearance in the Octagon on fight night.