UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman has called out Colby Covington for avoiding a potential fight against Leon Edwards.
Usman and Covington went to war back at UFC 245 in December 2019 with “The Nigerian Nightmare” successfully retaining his Welterweight Championship via TKO. Since then he’s also beaten Jorge Masvidal and Gilbert Burns, whereas “Chaos” returned to action with a win over long-time rival Tyron Woodley.
During a recent interview with MMA Junkie, Usman responded to calls for a rematch from Covington—and also highlighted the issue he has with Covington not accepting a fight against the aforementioned Edwards on short notice.
“I think he made a huge mistake, a tremendous mistake,” Usman said after Covington expressed disinterest in fighting Edwards. “Who turns down a paycheck? He turned down a paycheck. That’s horrible. You can’t do that. I mean, maybe he’s not hurting for money. But you can’t turn down a paycheck. Then on top of it, you turned down a chance to really remind the fans.
‘I understand, you’ve got to win,” Usman added. “But that’s one win in how long? (Tyron) Woodley’s coming off a two-fight, three-fight skid. It’s a tough one to basically say, ‘Oh, all right, you’ve got one win. You’re back in.’ For a guy that’s coming off a two, three-fight skid, that was a tough one.”
“For you to sit here and demand, ‘Oh, yeah, I’ve done enough. I demand a shot’ … First of all, you weren’t (the UFC’s) favorite in the first place,” Usman continued. “You’re not. So you can’t sit here (and say that). It’s not that you’re selling mad pay-per-per views. You don’t really do that, as well. So for you to sit here and demand something like that, I think it’s ridiculous. I think the best way for you to solidify your title shot is to go out there and fight.
“And what better way than to knock off the No. 3 (ranked) guy? He’s on his way up,” Usman concluded, arguing the merits of a Covington vs. Edwards fight. “He’s making the claim to the throne that he deserves that shot. What better way than to knock him off? He failed to do that and I think he made a tremendous mistake.”
Will Kamaru Usman vs. Colby Covington 2 take place in 2021? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.