Before Belal Muhammad ever accepted a short notice fight with Leon Edwards, former UFC interim welterweight champion Colby Covington had an offer to face him and turned it down. With all due respect to Muhammad, an Edwards vs. Covington matchup would’ve had far higher stakes for both fighters and would surely have provided clarity in an otherwise muddled title picture.
So why did Covington say no? Well as you would expect, it all came down to money.
“It was going to be a price tag,” Covington said in an interview with Submission Radio. “I wanted a little bit more than was in my contract. I just wasn’t going to show up for a normal paycheck to fight that guy. For me to come up and show that up on short notice and fight that guy, you know, the way I fight guys, I redline it every time I fight. So, when I fight, you know you’re getting a Ferrari that’s coming forward, high octane, high energy, and he’s coming to fight and bring the fight. So, if I want to fight at my best, I need a full training camp. So, that fight was never gonna happen unless the UFC was gonna pay for it to happen.
“They asked me and said, hey, what’s it gonna take Colby, for your price? Because first off, let’s be honest, why are we in this position? Because this guy, irrelevant Leon Scott was supposed to fight some kid named Sputnik. And, you know, Sputnik pulls out a couple of times, he doesn’t want to fight, your hype job is down the drain. Sorry, UFC, your plan, it’s all folded up now. Now it’s all in shame.”
‘Sputnik’ of course is referring to the currently COVID stricken phenom Khamzat Chimaev. Classy as ever.
Covington has not competed since a fifth-round injury TKO win in an otherwise lopsided fight vs. Tyron Woodley. You may recall that Covington was once stripped of his interim belt after not fighting then-champion Woodley in September 2018 due to nasal surgery. When he couldn’t compete on that date, Darren Till got the shot instead and Dana White basically pulled the “if you don’t accept, then someone else will” line.
According to Colby, the UFC president wasn’t exactly pleased to hear him shoot down the Edwards fight.
“He didn’t like it, guys. He just, he pretty much went, ‘okay,’ and he just hung up and that was the end of the call,” Covington said. “He didn’t like what I had to say. But I’m in the Colby Covington Incorporated business now, I’m not in the business to do charity. I’ve earned what I’ve earned. Look at my record, guys. I’ve beaten former champions, I’ve beaten hall-of-famers. The list, the resume of all the all-time greats that I’ve beat. I’m in the biggest fights, the pay-per-view fights, you know selling, big draw in the company.”
But Covington isn’t opposed to facing Leon with a proper camp and/or the right price, so we may yet see this fight at some point in time.
“Yeah, definitely,” he said. “They know what they can do. They know what they can do to get me to show up for that fight. But I’m not showing up for charity, guys. The guy still hasn’t won in two years. A no contest, that’s not a win, that’s not a fight. He’s gotta come back and win.
“He needs to rematch that Bailey guy. They need to fight again. That Bailey guy was talking all reckless all week saying, ‘oh, Colby, if I saw that guy in the streets, I’ll slap him, I’ll do this’. Bro, are you kidding me? Dustin Poirier and Jorge Masvidal said the same thing, ‘oh, it’s on sight, I’m gonna smack Colby when I see him in the street’. But then when they see me, it’s head down. Pipe down, little boy. These little boys, they talk reckless in the media, but then when we see each other face to face, it’s not that same energy, it’s a different energy. So, these guys are talking reckless out there. Rerun that Leon fight versus Bailey, cause nobody gives a shit about it. No one wants to watch that hot garbage. The only fight to make was me verse Marty Fakenewsman or me versus Street Judas Masvidal.”
“That Bailey guy” is Belal Muhammad. I guess not everyone remembers the name.