The former UFC interim welterweight champion Colby Covington had been eagerly waiting to get a shot at the undisputed UFC welterweight title against bitter rival and the champion Kamaru Usman. However, while they were apparently scheduled to meet at UFC 244, negotiations fell through and the fight was delayed. Covington has now explained why the negotiations with the UFC fell apart.
Covington revealed in a recent interview given to noted MMA journalist Ariel Helwani on ESPN that the UFC offered him a basic challenger’s contract even though he is a former champion and should have been offered a better deal. Here’s what he had to say:
My side of the story is, I’m ready to fight, I was ready to fight, but the UFC came to be with the basic challenger’s offer, I’m a champion. There was no negotiation. They came and ran at me and said, ‘Here, take this, or leave it and we’ll pass it on to the next person. That’s not fair negotiating and that’s not right. So I’m not going to take the first offer that you offer me.
We need to meet in the middle. There’s more that needs to be done. But also, I’m the A-side and you can’t even get the B-side done with Usman. Why are we even rushing this if you can’t get the B-side done? Usman didn’t want to fight anybody. He didn’t want to fight me, he didn’t want to fight my ex-best friend Jorge. He didn’t want to fight Leon Scott [Leon Edwards]. The problem is Usman. The problem has nothing to do with me.