Colby Covington isn’t thrilled with the way the UFC handled recent negotiations in an effort to book him against Kamaru Usman.
Former interim UFC welterweight champ Covington (15-1 MMA, 10-1 UFC) engaged in talks with the promotion to face current champ Usman (15-1, 10-0 UFC) at UFC 244 in New York.
In an interview with ESPN on Monday, Covington said the proposed Nov. 2 headliner fell through when the promotion refused to negotiate at all.
According to “Chaos,” the initial offer was a “take it or leave it” deal and the UFC left no room for discussion on the details. Since Covington doesn’t consider himself a title challenger, he said he is unwilling to accept a generic contract offer.
“My side of the story is, I’m ready to fight, I was ready to fight, but the UFC came to be with the basic challenger’s offer,” Covington said. “I’m a champion. There was no negotiation. They came and ran at me and said, ‘Here, take this, or leave it and we’ll pass it on to the next person. That’s not fair negotiating and that’s not right. So I’m not going to take the first offer that you offer me.”
Hopeful for a compromise, Covington explained he wants to be paid what his worth. In his mind, he’s the A-side in this fight and should be compensated as such. Additionally, he said Usman should house some of the blame for the fizzled bout proposal and alleged the champion was refusing to fight everyone the UFC offered.
“We need to meet in the middle,” Covington said. “There’s more that needs to be done. But also, I’m the A-side and you can’t even get the B-side done with Usman. Why are we even rushing this if you can’t get the B-side done?
“Usman didn’t want to fight anybody. He didn’t want to fight me. He didn’t want to fight my ex-best friend Jorge. He didn’t want to fight Leon Scott (Leon Edwards). The problem is Usman. The problem has nothing to do with me.”
As he voiced his frustrations, Covington’s main selling points were his popularity and ability to garner attention. He cited his crowd-riling entrance at UFC 241 in Anaheim. Calif., an event he was simply attending, and stressed his willingness to be a company man by promoting the UFC as a whole.
“I was just asking for what I deserved and what I earned,” Covington said. “I put my life on the line for this company. You know that post-fight promo in Brazil. You know I accepted a fight for this title in Brazil again after I had death threats and favelas wanting my head out in Brazil. I was still willing to go out and put my life on the line for this company.
“I continue to do it time and time again. Go to their shows, sell their shows, get people excited about the UFC brand, branching out and giving my time and money out-of-pocket to go visit the service-members that serve our country in the military.”
Covington said he is tired of the UFC “playing a game that’s not fair.” In his mind, his contributions to the sport are more valuable than the big-fight offer the UFC sent his way. Covington said the UFC makes far too much money to treat him “like crap.”
“I have a world title and they still want to treat me like crap,” Covington said. “They still want to not give me any room to negotiate and work. It’s not fair. The company is rolling in money. Thirty-percent growth last month. We all know the ESPN deal. They’re making so much money. They need to make this right.”
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Colby Covington says recent negotiations 'not fair,' sick of UFC treating him 'like crap'