On Saturday night, in the main event of UFC Newark, former interim welterweight champ Colby Covington will step into the cage with former undisputed welterweight champ Robbie Lawler in a bout that could produce the next welterweight title challenger. As such, reigning champ Kamaru Usman will be watching the action closely.
Lawler used to train at American Top Team, the gym Covington still calls home, and the pair actually got quite a bit of training in together over the years. Usman believes their previous training sessions could definitely play a psychological role in their fight — though he’s not sure who will benefit.
“Robbie’s got bricks in his hands,” Usman told BT Sport (transcript via MMA News). “And we saw what he did to Askren. They used to train together. So I don’t know what happened in those training sessions, so there could be a psychological advantage either to Robbie or towards Colby, so I have no idea [who wins].”
Covington, of course, was widely expected to be booked for a title fight against Usman, but was ultimately scheduled for this fight with Lawler instead. Usman believes there’s a few reasons for that.
“I’m just as lost as everybody,” he said. “I mean, I think it was one of those situations where…you’re not the champion. You can’t sit and dictate that ‘I’m gonna fight for the belt. He’s been out for over a year. And I’m the champion. He was kind of that situation to where I’m pretty sure he’s not very good with money, I’ve heard. You haven’t fought in over a year. I’m sure those bank accounts are starting to hurt. And on top of it, you can’t dictate. So I think it was a fight they presented to him, and he had no options. He had to take the fight.”
What do you think of these comments from Kamaru Usman? Is the champ right?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 7/31/2019.This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM