Despite being promised a welterweight title fight with Kamaru Usman, Colby Covington is excited to return to the Octagon Aug. 3 against Robbie Lawler.
"(The fight) came together very quickly, within a matter of minutes, really," Covington told theScore's James Lynch on Wednesday. "The thing is, I gotta defend this title (interim welterweight title he was later stripped of) and I need someone to defend it against. It only makes sense that I go against 'Ruthless' Robbie Lawler, the biggest name in the division besides myself.
"(Lawler) deserves a title shot. He looked unbeatable in his last fight. He looked like he hit a new stride, like he really was coming back into his prime against Ben Askren. He dropped him on his head, took his college trophy, and knocked him out. There's not a guy more worthy of a title shot than 'Ruthless' Robbie Lawler while 'Marty' (Usman) fakes injuries."
Covington appeared first in line for Usman's belt, but the Nigerian fractured his foot prior to defeating Tyron Woodley at UFC 235. The champion said he should be ready to fight by November.
The controversial fighter hasn't competed since June 2018. Though he appeared frustrated at Usman's injury history and won't actually be fighting for a championship, Covington believes Lawler presents a greater challenge.
"(The UFC) pretty much just said that (Usman) has a different injury every week, faking injuries," Covington said. "He's not here to make the welterweight division great again, like myself ... I don't need 'Marty fake news-man.' I have bigger fights on the horizon."
Instead of waiting until November, the 31-year-old saw an opportunity for large earnings headlining a UFC event.
"At the end of the day it's just business, and money talks," Covington said. "The show must go on.
"It's a title fight," he continued. "I'm getting title-fight money, there's extra zeros on my paycheck. So I'm gonna go out there and do what I do best and win."
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