When Kamaru Usman beat Tyron Woodley at UFC 235 to become the welterweight champion, all signs pointed to his first title defense being against Colby Covington.
Well, that likely won’t happen now. On Monday it was announced that the former interim champion would take on Robbie Lawler at UFC Newark. Much to the despair of Usman.
“I literally smacked my head like this kid f***s it up again, again. I said from the start, this was going to be his fight to mess up and that is exactly (why) he did what he just did. Those gambling debts might have caught up to him, you never know the backstory of what is going on,” Kamaru Usman said to TMZ Sports. “Debts might have caught up to him, he hasn’t fought for a long time trying to sit out and be a pest to not just to me but to Woodley at some point and also to Dana White at some point.
“You sat out for a long time and now you are kind of reaping what you sold. At the end of the day, this is not me saying oh, I don’t want to fight him. I definitely want to fight him,” he continued. “People might say well you are ducking Colby Covington, his three fans who continuously try to pester me every day. There is no one right now in the world that I would love to punch more or hurt more than him, or Ben Askren. Either one I don’t really care it doesn’t matter. It just goes to show you who is in power and it’s not him.”
Ben Askren now next in line?
If Colby Covington beats Lawler, there still is a chance he could get the next title shot. But, according to Kamaru Usman, he believes Ben Askren is next. “Funky” has said he would steal “Chaos'” title shot with a win at UFC 239, and he may have just done that.
“I need to put my hands on Covington, I gotta get that out of the way. But, Ben Askren is next,” Kamaru Usman said. “He is the representative of this new aid society where trolls and these guys that probably could never touch you or do anything to you feel like because they have a platform on the internet, I am going to talk as reckless as possible. So, I kind of need to humble him up. But, it doesn’t matter, I just want to fight and get back to doing what I love and get back to competing. So it doesn’t matter either of them can get it.”
Who do you think Kamaru Usman should defend his title against first, Ben Askren or Colby Covington? Sound off in the comment section, PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 6/26/2019.