When Colby Covington defeated Robbie Lawler earlier this summer, he cemented himself as the next man in line for UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman. In the subsequent weeks, the bout was linked to the upcoming UFC 244 card, scheduled for November 2 in Madison Square Garden.
Unfortunately, it now sounds as though this bout in jeopardy. According to ESPN reporter Ariel Helwani, negotiations for this Usman vs. Covington fight have hit a snag, and the UFC is now considering other options.
The making of this fight has taken many twists and turns over the past few days, so there’s no telling if they end up with it. But right now, it’s not in good standing and other options are being explored. Developing.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) September 5, 2019
“The Kamaru Usman v Colby Covington 170 title fight is far from done, multiple sources say,” Helwani wrote. “In fact, negotiations have hit a snag and UFC is now looking at other options, sources say. Those options include a different welterweight title fight and/or a different main event.
“The making of this fight has taken many twists and turns over the past few days, so there’s no telling if they end up with it,” he added. “But right now, it’s not in good standing and other options are being explored. Developing.”
Kamaru Usman won the UFC welterweight belt in March, when he defeated the long-time champion Tyron Woodley by decision. He hasn’t lost since his second pro bout, when he was defeated by Jose Caceres — who Covington has defeated.
Covington, meanwhile, has only lost to Warlley Alves, who Usman has defeated. Prior to beating Lawler, he defeated Rafael dos Anjos to capture the UFC interim welterweight belt. He was later stripped of this title, though he still considers himself the division’s true champion.
It’s not clear what options the UFC is exploring outside this Covington vs. Usman fight, but stay tuned for details.
Who do you think should be next for Kamaru Usman? Will you be disappointed if it’s not Colby Covington?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/4/2019.