UFC: Kamaru Usman Hits Out At Colby Covington

Kamaru Usman says Colby Covington made a ‘tremendous mistake’ by turning down the chance to fight Leon Edwards at UFC Vegas 21.

Edwards was scheduled to face Khamzat Chimaev in the UFC Vegas 21 main event, but the Russian born Swede was forced to pull out due to COVID-related issues. The UFC then turned their attention towards Covington, but he ruled out the possibility, saying that he’s not interested in doing ‘charity’. Instead, ‘Rocky’ will now headline the event against Belal Muhammad.

Missed Opportunity

Usman wasn’t impressed by Covington’s refusal to fight Edwards. Speaking to MMA Junkie, the UFC welterweight champion said that ‘Chaos’ missed out on an opportunity to get a paycheque and potentially earn a title shot with an impressive win.

“I think he made a huge mistake, a tremendous mistake,” Usman said. “Who turns down a paycheque? He turned down a paycheque. That’s horrible. You can’t do that. I mean, maybe he’s not hurting for money. But you can’t turn down a paycheque. Then on top of it, you turned down a chance to really remind the fans.

“‘I understand, you’ve got to win. 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.”

Making Undue Demands

Since losing to Usman at UFC 245, Covington has only fought once, against Tyron Woodley at UFC Vegas 11, winning via fifth round TKO. The 32 year old has said that he wants to fight ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ for the title next, but the champion believes he’s in no position to make such demands.

“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] favourite in the first place,” Usman stated. “You’re not. So you can’t sit here [and say that]. It’s not that you’re selling mad pay-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 number three [ranked] guy? He’s on his way up. 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.”

Do you agree with Kamaru Usman that Colby Covington made a ‘tremendous mistake’ by refusing to fight Leon Edwards at UFC Vegas 21?

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