December 11, (THEWILL) – On Sunday, December 17, reigning UFC welterweight champion, Leon “Rocky” Edwards, will defend his title against top contender, Colby “Chaos” Covington, in the main event of UFC 296. The pay-per-view card is set for the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Edwards will enter the cage looking to make the second defence of the belt he initially won by knocking out Kamaru Usman in August 2022. The 32-year-old Jamaican-born Briton also holds a majority decision victory over Usman earlier this year. With an eye on becoming the UFC’s first-ever British double champion, Edwards has expressed interest in moving up to middleweight to challenge either Sean Strickland or Dricus Du Plessis in early 2024.
His opponent Covington is a former interim welterweight title holder hungry to finally get his hands on undisputed gold. After twice falling short against Usman, “Chaos” returned after a year-long absence in March 2022 to defeat rival Jorge Masvidal. According to coach Daniel Valverde, Covington is “hungrier than ever” to capture the welterweight crown.
In the co-main event slot, flyweight champion Alexandre Pantoja will look to record his first title defence against #4 ranked Brandon Royval, who he has already submitted back in 2021.
The main card also contains multiple intriguing matchups, including fast-rising knockout artist Shavkat Rakhmonov battling MMA legend Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson in a welterweight clash, along with a lightweight contest between Tony Ferguson and Paddy Pimblett.
UFC 296 shapes up to be a must-see event for MMA fans, headlined by a heated grudge match for the welterweight belt. The card offers title fights and pivotal contender matchups across two divisions.
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Jude Obafemi is a versatile senior Correspondent at THEWILL Newspapers, excelling in sourcing, researching, and delivering sports news stories for both print and digital publications.