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If Colby Covington is to win an undisputed UFC world title, Michael Bisping says that there is no time like the present.

Bisping, who famously left it late into his career before he realised a long-held ambition of raising aloft a world title when he defeated Luke Rockhold all those years ago, has said that Covington, who is a few months out from his 36th birthday, might well be facing his last opportunity at the welterweight championship when he fights Leon Edwards at next month’s UFC 296 event in Las Vegas.

But after coming up short in two fights against the former champion Kamaru Usman, Bisping suggested on his podcast that Covington knows his back will be against the wall when he steps in the cage with Edwards

“Here’s what is going to make Colby very, very dangerous come fight night,” Bisping said on his YouTube channel, as reported by MMA Junkie.

“He’s (35) years old. This is his last title fight. It’s as simple as that. This will be his third time fighting for the belt, twice against Kamaru Usman, didn’t get the job done. Got stopped once, went to a decision the next time. Very competitive fights, though, but it doesn’t matter. He didn’t win. He didn’t become the champion. … This is going to be the last chance for Colby Covington, OK? This really is.”

Edwards, who found a route to victory against Usman in two successive title fights, will look to keep the fight standing and stay behind his jab, Bisping added, before picking from his arsenal of flashy kicks and knees.

“If he can maintain range, if he can keep at a distance,” Bisping suggested. If successful, “he can use the jabs, the straight shots, punish Colby with knees and elbows on the inside and use those head kicks in stunning fashion and basically just keep the fight off the ground.”

But Edwards must also keep pace with Covington, who Bisping said has one of the best gas tanks in the sport.

“That’s it in a nutshell. If he can keep the fight off the ground, he’s probably going to retain the belt, but it ain’t going to be easy because Colby is like an Energiser Bunny. He just never stops. He keeps coming and coming and coming. He’s got cardio for days.”