Belal Muhammad doesn’t think Colby Covington is trying to fight his fellow top contenders in the UFC.
The 33-year-old UFC welterweight believes Covington, a former two-time UFC title challenger, is looking to get an easy path back to the champion by avoiding fights against rightful title contenders in the weight class.
Muhammad (20-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC), who takes on Vicente Luque (21-7-1 MMA, 14-3 UFC) in a rematch that’s set to headline Saturday’s UFC on ESPN 34 event in Las Vegas, questions Covington’s recent resume, as well as his callouts and the fights he’s trying to angle for.
“Colby is not fighting any tough fighters,” Muhammad said at the UFC on ESPN 34 media day. “He’s fighting Masvidal off two losses. He’s fighting Woodley off like three losses. I think he’s trying to pick and choose his way back to a title shot, calling out a ’55er in Dustin Poirier, and then try to talk his way into another title shot.
“He hasn’t beat no top five, real legitimate guys that are coming off wins. For me I’m like, I want to fight the best guys. I want to stay active, I want to stay in there. We don’t know when Kamaru is coming back, so maybe there’s an interim title on the line this summer. That hand injury is a serious injury. If Leon (Edwards) needs an interim title opponent, I’m there. Like I’ve said, if I have to go through Khamzat, I’m not afraid to go through these guys.”
Muhammad says Covington thinks he’s on the level of a Nate Diaz or Conor McGregor – two of the UFC’s biggest stars – and that’s why “Chaos” is not looking to climb the ladder like most contenders.
“I think he’s one of those guys who thinks he’s owed something,” Muhammad said. “He thinks he’s a pay-per-view star, ‘Oh I’m in the level of a Nate Diaz or a McGregor and I can pick and choose who I want.’
“I think he’s going to sit out for a year and play the injury game. Now that his tooth is chipped, he’s probably going to be out for a couple of years until they give him a real 155er to fight.”