Colby Covington continues to defend his decision to pass on a September 8th bout with Tyron Woodley, but Kamaru Usman has a pretty different take on the situation. In fact, Usman claims that Covington has turned down the opportunity to fight him…for a fourth time.
After Covington won the UFC’s interim welterweight title in June, by defeating Rafael dos Anjos, everyone and their dog expected he would fight Woodley next. But, the UFC wanted to book the fight for UFC 228, September 8th, and Covington said he couldn’t commit due to a surgical procedure he’s having done to address a nasal issue. The UFC kept rolling with its plans, however, and Darren Till will now challenge Woodley at the upcoming event.
The decision was met with mixed reviews. On one hand, most people are stoked to see how Till does against the champ. But, there was also a lot of buzz about Woodley and Covington fighting. Further, the latter said he’d be ready to fight in November. So, some have asked why the UFC couldn’t just wait until then.
Usman was a guest recently on “The MMA Hour”, however, and he had this to say about Covington passing on UFC 228 (quotes via MMA Fighting):
“[Covington] talked for a long time about how he wanted a title fight. But then they give him a title fight — Sept. 8 that’s your event — but he comes out and says he’s not ready. You’re not the champ, you’re the interim guy. You’re just a placeholder. The champ is ready to go. He gave you an opportunity and you turned it down, so they went with the next guy, they went with Darren Till.
“Now you have to sit and wait. God forbid, if something happens to the guys that have to fight on Sept. 8 and they have to be out for a while. What does that mean? You’re not going to fight forever until they’re ready? You said you’d be ready in November, [the UFC] offered me the fight in November. I accepted and he says no — once again for the fourth time.”