UFC President Dana White claims Colby Covington was never in consideration to replace Gilbert Burns against Kamaru Usman in the UFC 251 main event.
Until last weekend, Usman, the UFC welterweight champion, was expected to defend his title against Burns at UFC 251. However, Burns then tested positive for COVID-19, thrusting the UFC into a desperate search for a replacement challenger for Usman.
There seemed to be two frontrunners in that search. The first was Jorge Masvidal. The second was Covington, who came up short in an extremely competitive title fight with Usman back in September.
According to White, Covington was never really in consideration during the hunt for Usman’s next opponent, as Masvidal was always the priority.
“We were always talking to Masvidal,” White told TMZ when asked if Covington was in the running to fight Usman. “There was never a situation during the negotiations, if you will, that we didn’t think that Masvidal was going to take the fight.”
Ever since he came up short against Usman in December, Covington has been adamant that he deserves a rematch with the champion. While Masvidal could certainly dethrone Usman at UFC 251 this weekend, Covington envisions a decisive win for the champion—which would seemingly keep the door ajar for their prospective second meeting.
“Jorge Masvidal is nothing more than a mediocre, middle of the road dude who’s a bum,” Covington told MMA Fighting ahead of UFC 251. “He’s just going out there to take a quick L, he knows he’s gonna take the L, and he wants an easy fall-back plan. ‘Oh, guys, I only took it on one week’s notice’ – no, you had the last six months to take it. I already know what the excuses are gonna be this Saturday night. I don’t feel any sympathy for him, he’s gonna get body-bagged. The only way he doesn’t get body-bagged by Marty on Saturday night is if Marty comes down with the ‘rona”.
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