If you haven’t heard, Colby Covington did a thing earlier this week, accepting a fight with Robbie Lawler at UFC Newark. It was a weird decision because Covington was the presumptive number one contender for Kamaru Usman’s welterweight title. Moreover, the two have already been building the potential fight with outside-the-cage shenanigans that started almost immediately after Usman won the belt. Now, that is all in jeopardy and the UFC welterweight champion is left shaking his head at what happened.
“Agh. I literally just smacked my head,” Usman told TMZ Sports. “Like, this kid f*cks it up again! Again! I said from the start, this was gonna be his fight to mess up and that’s exactly what he just did.”
This isn’t the first time Covington has lost a title shot. In a similar situation when Tyron Woodley was the champion, “Chaos” was twice passed over for title fights when his schedule would not align with the UFC’s. Covington’s manager intimated that this time the decision was more on the side of the UFC but Usman has another possible theory for why Covington would risk his title shot like this.
“Those gambling debts might have caught up to him,” Usman said. “You never know the backstory of what’s going on. Debts might have caught up to him. He hasn’t fought for a long time, trying to sit out and be a pest, not just to me but to Woodley at some point and also to Dana White at some point. So you sat out for a long time and now you’re kind of reaping what you sow.
“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. There’s no one - and people might say, ‘Oh, you’re ducking Colby Covington,’ his three fans who continuously try to pester me everyday - there’s no one right now I would love to punch more or hurt more than him. Him or Ben Askren. Either one. I don’t really care. Doesn’t matter. But for him to take that, it just goes to show you who is in power. It’s not him. It’s not me [either]. I mean, I have a little say so but there’s a bigger machine that controls everything.”
And there’s the rub. That “bigger machine” may indeed be working against Covington as Dana White’s new favorite buddy, Ben Askren is knocking on the door of a title shot himself. Askren is set to fight Covington’s friend and training partner Jorge Masvidal at UFC 239 and should he get a win, it’s likely Askren will leapfrog Covington, given Askren’s popularity. And though Usman says he’d prefer to fight Covington, he admits he doesn’t really care either way who he defends his belt against.
“I just feel like the time is right, I need to put my hands on Covington,” Usman said. “I’ve got to get that one out of the way but oh man, Ben Askren’s next. He’s the representative of this new age 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’m just gonna talk as reckless as possible. So I kinda need to humble him up a little bit but it doesn’t matter. I just want to fight, keep doing what I love, get back to competing. So it doesn’t matter, either one of them can get it.”
Usman has been sidelined by a March surgery to repair a double hernia. He is reportedly targeting a fall return to the cage.
Assignments. Referees, judges assigned for Jones vs. Santos, Nunes vs. Holm at UFC 239.
The A-Side Live Chat.
BKFC 6 Rewind.
Inside Bellator London with Kavanagh.
Ngannou wants a Jones superfight.
Heavy Hands. Discussing UFC Greenville and breaking down UFC Minneapolis.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Uhhhh, how bout no.
@joerogan @danawhite @JonnyBones to supports overturning Jon Jones DQ loss to me to a no contest? Well I'm not complaining about jones in the past what he used illegal substance when he fought me.12/6 elbow is illegal. Back to back wins. How about rematch?— Matt Hamill (@hammer_hamill) June 26, 2019
I will be back to full training after 4 weeks. Right now I can focus on making my left hand even more dangerous https://t.co/ASPdAW2m9m— Petr “No Mercy” Yan (@PetrYanUFC) June 27, 2019
I can beat you even with one hand. You can wait for the title shot that was not promised to you. I’m fighting for the interim belt in November https://t.co/3MUf7YgSYw— Petr “No Mercy” Yan (@PetrYanUFC) June 27, 2019
Maybe you can beat your meat with one hand but I need two https://t.co/FWn6TeuGfk— Aljamain Sterling (@FunkMaster_UFC) June 27, 2019
I didn’t realize Danis trained with Khabib.
there is a reason i am so calm in the cage, rounds on rounds with the best fighter in the world will do that too you. pic.twitter.com/Xe4bDBCjSt— Dillon Danis (@dillondanis) June 26, 2019
MVP talking ish.
Don’t know how you’d ever be able to market a guy like this. . . . .
Excellent Twittering right here.
Chad Mendes is branching out on his business.
View this post on Instagram
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Tatsuya Kawajiri (36-13-2) vs. Ali Abdulkhalikov (7-0); Rizin 17, July 28.
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
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