An interim title fight is currently in the works for UFC 224 that will pit Rafael dos Anjos against Colby Covington on May 12 in Brazil.
Sources close to the contest confirmed that verbal agreements are in place for the matchup although no contracts have been issued yet. The UFC has not made any official announcements about the fight. The news of the interim title fight was initially reported by BJPenn.com.
It’s a crazy turn of events after dos Anjos was expected to take on welterweight champion Tyron Woodley but now it appears he’ll be competing at home in Brazil instead with an interim title on the line.
Woodley has stated that he won’t be ready to return to action until at least July following shoulder surgery and it seems the UFC needed another major fight for the upcoming card in Brazil.
As for Covington, he’s been banging the drum for a title show for several months now after he dismantled former title contender Demian Maia in his most recent fight. Covington also has a rather contentious relationship with Brazil after he called the residents ‘filthy animals’ and said the country was ‘a dump’ following his win over Maia last October.
Now the controversial welterweight contender will return to Brazil with an interim title on the line with the winner then expected to move onto face Woodley later this year.
When it comes to the champion, Woodley had previously said that he hoped to fight earlier in the year following surgery but it’s unknown if this interim title fight is meant to speed up his return or if this matchup was more about building up the card headed for Brazil in June.
Either way, plans are in motion for the interim title fight for dos Anjos and Covington as part of the upcoming card that will be headlined by Amanda Nunes taking on Raquel Pennington in an women’s bantamweight championship match.