After Khamzat Chimaev fell out of his UFC Wrestle Evening headliner vs. Edwards (18-3 MMA, 10-2 UFC) on March 13 in Las Vegas, UFC president Dana White stated he was as soon as obsessed on having Covington (16-2 MMA, 11-2 UFC) step in as a replace.
That did not materialize, and Belal Muhammad ended up taking the fight. Covington, for his share, stated fighting Edwards can be nothing more than “charity,” despite both being extremely ranked within the welterweight division.
Reigning champion Usman (18-1 MMA, 13-0 UFC) wasn’t impressed by Covington’s dismissal of the bout, and argues he made a grave error.
“I reflect he made a large mistake, a huge mistake,” Usman told MMA Junkie. “Who turns down a paycheck? He was down a paycheck. That’s repugnant. Probabilities are you’ll per chance perhaps perhaps’t carry out that. I mean, perhaps he’s not hurting for money. But it’s seemingly you’ll per chance perhaps perhaps’t turn down a paycheck. Then on prime of it, you was down a huge gamble to actually remind the followers.
‘I understand, you’ve acquired to resolve. But that’s one resolve in how lengthy? (Tyron) Woodley’s coming off a two-fight, three-fight skid. It’s a sturdy one to basically direct, ‘Oh, all upright, you’ve acquired one resolve. You’re abet in.’ For a man that’s coming off a two, three-fight skid, that was as soon as a sturdy one.”
Covington looks to reflect he must be subsequent in line to narrate Usman for 170-pound gold. The pair placed on a “Wrestle of the Year” contender at UFC 245 in December 2019, with Usman scoring a fifth-spherical TKO in basically the perfect fight of his UFC occupation to this level.
A rematch between the 2 facets seemed inevitable, nonetheless Usman doesn’t appear snort allowing Covington to wait around. He’s had upright one fight within the 14 months since they shared the octagon – a fifth-spherical TKO of Woodley in September – and in Usman’s thoughts, that’s not satisfactory.
Had Covington agreed to fight Edwards, alternatively, Usman stated that can per chance perhaps’ve changed his level of view about running it abet with his rival. But for now his focus looks to be rematching Jorge Masvidal as another.
“For you to sit down here and ask, ‘Oh, yeah, I’ve performed satisfactory. I ask a shot’ … Initially, you weren’t (the UFC’s) popular within the first situation,” Usman stated. “You’re not. So that it’s seemingly you’ll per chance perhaps perhaps’t sit here (and direct that). It’s not that you just’re selling furious pay-per-per views. You don’t actually carry out that, as effectively. So so that you just can sit down here and ask one thing like that, I reflect it’s ridiculous. I reflect the ideal approach so that you just can solidify your title shot is to switch available within the market and fight.
“And what better approach than to knock off the No. 3 (ranked) man? He’s on his approach up. He’s making the narrate to the throne that he deserves that shot. What better approach than to knock him off? He did not buy out that and I reflect he made a huge mistake.”