Colby Covington vs. Robbie Lawler Fight to Main Event UFC on ESPN 5

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistJune 25, 2019

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 02:  UFC welterweight Colby Covington is seen during the UFC 235 event at T-Mobile Arena on March 2, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Colby Covington is set to fight Robbie Lawler in the headline fight of UFC Fight Night on August 3.

ESPN's Brett Okamoto relayed as much, citing UFC President Dana White:

Brett Okamoto @bokamotoESPN

Breaking: Colby Covington vs. Robbie Lawler has been verbally agreed to headline UFC Fight Night on Aug. 3 in Newark, per UFC president Dana White and additional sources. https://t.co/hx8XeqZNMy

Covington has not fought since he won the interim welterweight championship in June last year after nasal surgery prevented him from competing in a unification bout with Tyron Woodley.

Okamoto also relayed text messages from Covington confirming the pair would face off in the Octagon:

Brett Okamoto @bokamotoESPN

Text messages from Colby Covington (@ColbyCovMMA) on the Robbie Lawler main event, Aug. 3. His manager Dan Lambert says Colby agreed to multiple dates against Woodley and Usman that ultimately never came together. https://t.co/cGt9kGetu8

Covington expanded on his decision to accept a fight with Lawler in conversation with Okamoto's ESPN colleague Ariel Helwani:

Ariel Helwani @arielhelwani

Colby Covington vs. Robbie Lawler is the main event for the Aug. 3 card in Newark. First reported by @bokamotoESPN. I asked Covington why he’s taking this fight when he appeared so close to getting a title shot, and here’s what he said: https://t.co/4zEZP3ocsI

The 31-year-old won the interim belt with a unanimous-decision victory over Rafael dos Anjos, which took his record to 14-1 in MMA.

Lawler, 37, held the welterweight title between December 2014 and July 2016, when he suffered a first-round knockout at the hands of Woodley.

He has fought just three times since then, picking up a win over Donald Cerrone before losing to Dos Anjos and Ben Askren, the latter in March this year. His record now stands at 28-13.

Covington is on a six-fight winning streak heading into this fight compared with Lawler's three defeats in four.

Should the former win on August 3, he might get another shot at the belt, which is now in the hands of Kamaru Usman.