There are several purported reasons why Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington aren’t fighting for the welterweight title at UFC 244. According to UFC president Dana White, the fault lies on Usman, but for Covington, it was the UFC who came with “hostage negotiations” which he wasn’t pleased with.
Watching it all unfold from the sidelines is Ben Askren, who had some words for his fellow welterweight contenders.
“These guys are idiots,” Askren said Monday on the Ariel Helwani MMA Show (transcript by BJPenn.com). “It’s not the first time I’ve told you they were idiots, and you guys should have listened to me before. I mean holy crap. These guys Covington and Kamaru can’t get it right — I called him Kamaru, his name is Marty, what am I talking about here? They can’t get it right!”
“Funky” also had his hot take on what led to the failed negotiations for the supposed fight.
“This is not from the UFC. This is my take, what I heard happened: Colby Covington says ‘I want a whole bunch of money,’” he went on. “Colby, you’re not worth that much money. I’m all about fighters’ rights here. I do think MMA fighters as a whole should probably be paid more. But at the same time, unless you’re part of that movement, you have to deal with yourself individually — one versus the UFC.
“So Colby shoots it way out of the ballpark, they say ‘yeah right dude, get lost. You’re not worth close to that much.’ He is not nearly as popular as you think. So [the UFC says] ‘Colby, get lost. We’re bringing in Jorge [Masvidal to fight Usman].’
“Then Marty says ‘well if I’m fighting Jorge, I want more money!’ And they said ‘what? Nobody gives a damn about watching you fight, Marty. Get out of here!’ Then they made Jorge and Nate [Diaz] the main event, which people are excited for.”
The UFC has yet to re-schedule the Usman-Covington fight. Meanwhile, Askren will make his Octagon return on October 26th against Demian Maia. The two will headline the UFC’s 2019 event in Singapore.