American welterweight contender Colby Covington received a hearty welcome by fans across the ocean at UFC 286.
The event marks the UFC's third visit to the O2 Arena in London, England, and Covington was in attendance as the acting backup for the main event welterweight championship match. Former champion Kamaru Usman faces off against Leon Edwards in their title rematch at UFC 286.
Covington and the UFC surprised everyone at the weigh-ins when the American walked out and made weight to confirm himself as the backup fighter in case of an emergency for either contestant.
A video posted to Twitter by the UFC showcased the rapturous reaction from fans in attendance at the O2 Arena as 'Chaos' made his way to his seat in a dashing suit. Covington reciprocated the audience's love by bowing and saluting them.
His reception was the loudest of any other stars in attendance, which included A-list actors like Maisie Williams, Tom Holland, and Jared Leto amongst many others.
"Turns out the UK fans love them some Colby Covington, biggest pop of the night so far #UFC286"
However, Covington will have to wait for his return to the octagon as the two headliners will battle it out for five rounds with the welterweight title on the line.
Gilbert Burns reacts to Colby Covington being the backup fighter for UFC 286
Brazilian welterweight Gilbert Burns did not take kindly to the news of Colby Covington being the backup fighter for the UFC 286 main event.
Burns pointed out Covington's lengthy absence and asserted that it was a smart decision to get back into the picture without quite endangering himself. In an interview with 'The Schmo', Burns said:
"He's [Covington] smart because March  makes it one year since his last fight. So, he gotta fight, he gotta do something. So, he's very smart to put himself [in the backup role]. I don't know if the UFC offered him or if he offered himself to be a backup. But he's very smart. So, at least they're not gonna kick him out of the ranks."
Colby Covington last fought in March 2022 against Jorge Masvidal at UFC 272. He has retained his No.2 ranked contender status despite not fighting since, but his mixed bag of results in his last four fights and the form of Belal Muhammad endangers his chances of a title shot.
Check out Gilbert Burns' comments below: