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Colby Covington says he will return to the cage this summer but doesn’t believe it will come against Ian Machado Garry.

Irishman Machado Garry, unbeaten in seven UFC fights (14-0 overall) has been involved in a vocal campaign to secure a fight with former three-time welterweight title challenger Covington. But despite Machado Garry stating that bout agreements had been sent to both parties, he says that Covington has been dragging his heels on the proposed matchup that the Dubliner initially intended to be the co-main event behind Conor McGregor’s UFC 303 matchup with Michael Chandler.

Covington initially appeared to be keen on the fight. Earlier this year, he announced a series of ‘stipulations’ which would need to be satisfied before he agreed terms — something that the American fighter elaborated on during a recent appearance on the Twins Pod podcast.

“There’s this kid that’s been calling me out,” Covington said. “This kid, Ian Garry, he’s a nobody. I gave him some stipulations and said, ‘Hey man, if you want to fight me, you have to show me you’re serious about business,’ because when I do business, I’m serious about it.

“I show up to every fight. I’ve never pulled out of one fight. I’ve been injured, I’ve been sick, but I always show up and do my business because I love the UFC as the greatest organisation in the world.

“So he has to show me he’s serious. He was supposed to be on my last event in the press conference. He pulls out the day of the press conference because he knew I was going to be on stage, and we’re going to have some beef. So that shows me that he’s not serious.”

That said, Covington said that he will indeed compete this summer as part of what he sees as being a route back to a second opportunity with 170-pound champion Leon Edwards, who defeated Covington by comprehensive judges’ decision last year.

“I’ve got unfinished business with my last fight, Leon Edwards, the guy that has the title right now,” he said. “I broke my foot in the first five seconds of the fight. I threw a kick. It broke in three different places. So that wasn’t me that night.”