After Kamaru Usman beat Tyron Woodley at UFC 235 to become the new welterweight champion it was expected Colby Covington would be first in line to get the title shot. UFC President, Dana White even said so during the event. But now, Usman wants Covington to beg him for the fight.
“Now you have to beg me for that fight,” Usman said backstage at UFC 236 (transcript via MMAJunkie).
Although Covington was the former interim welterweight champion, and number one contender, Usman knows ‘Chaos’ doesn’t decide when the fight takes place. That is if it even happens next.
“We all know Colby has avoided this fight for a long, long time,” Usman said. “And you know what? Now it’s time for you to do the appropriate work to make sure that you deserve this. Because that’s what he does, that’s what he thrives on – he thinks he deserves everything. He always puts it out there ‘I deserve this, this is what you owe me.’ No. It’s not about that. You’re not in the driver’s seat to make that decision.”
“This guy feels really entitled, and you see him all the time, and especially now, this whole rant ‘Dana you promised me this, why did you give me this interim belt?’” Usman later added. “He nags, and that’s just kind of his mentality, how he goes about situations – and that’s not who I am. We immigrated here to give me that opportunity. I had to take that opportunity. I had to put my heart and soul into what I was going to do in order to be at the pinnacle. I put the hard work in, which is why I’m in the position I’m at now.”
Ultimately, Usman knows there are plenty of options for his next fight, whether that is Covington or not.
“Look at where the division is now,” Usman said. “You’ve got freaking Anthony Pettis coming in and knocking out ‘Wonderboy,’ two-time title challenger. You’ve got Masvidal coming in and knocking out Darren Till, former title challenger. There’s some things that are going on there. So based on how Ben Askren does in his next performance, that could be a possible option. Don’t forget Santiago Ponzinibbio is still out there. So, there’s options out there.
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This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/16/2019