With UFC Welterweight champion Tyron Woodley likely to be out of action for the next few months, the UFC is believed to be targeting an interim title match at UFC 224.
The bout is set to be between Rafael Dos Anjos and Colby Covington, both of whom are ranked in the top three of the welterweight division. A former defending UFC Lightweight champion, Dos Anjos has taken the welterweight division by storm since he moved up a weight class last year.
In his first two fights at 170 pounds, Dos Anjos dominated Tarec Saffiedine and Neil Magny, which led to him given a Main Event fight against former Welterweight champion Robbie Lawler. Although Dos Anjos was widely considered to be a huge underdog in the fight, the Brazilian dominated Lawler throughout five rounds to take out an emphatic unanimous decision victory.
Covington, on the other hand, had a breakout year in 2017, with victories over Dong Hyun Kim and former title challenger Demian Maia. The former Division I wrestler has a 13-1 professional MMA record with eight of those victories being in the UFC.
The American has attracted some controversy due to his trash talk. In his post-fight speech after the Maia bout, Covington called Brazil a “dump” (the fight was held in Brazil) and called the crowd “filthy animals”, which resulted in projectiles being thrown at him as he left the Octagon.
UFC 224 will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on May 12 and is set to be headlined by a Women’s Bantamweight title bout between Amanda Nunes and Raquel Pennington.