Apparently, he just needs to convince Covington.
On Sunday at UFC Fight Night 124, Usman (11-1 MMA, 6-0 UFC) faces Emil Meek (9-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) in a re-booking of a scheduled meeting at UFC 219. But he said Meek wasn’t his originally scheduled opponent.
“A lot of people don’t know, but (Covington and I) were supposed to be the main event for this card, which is why it took so long for (the UFC) to get a main event scheduled,” Usman told MMAjunkie in advance of the FS1-televised event at Scottrade Center in St. Louis. “But, once again, he declined the fight, so here we are. You can run, but you can’t hide forever.”
Usman maintains Covington (13-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) has repeatedly turned him down, expecting an imminent title shot. Covington, meanwhile, has accused him of declining three separate offers.
Covington did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Usman’s claim. The back-and-forth is a standard game of he said-he said in the fight business. But Usman said there are reasons beyond the obvious competitive ones to pair him with Covington.
“I believe this fight is fate. It has been written,” Usman said. “How much of a small world do we live in, where I’m a little boy born in Nigeria, a country of over 200 million people, in this small farm town, to get to the point where I immigrate here to America, to where I get to college and I cross paths with (Covington)?
“Me and Jon Jones crossed paths our senior year in high school. We met at senior nationals in a big wrestling tournament. After that, we became friends. He said he was going to go to school in Iowa – that’s great. We stayed in touch. In fall break, I went up to his school and spent time with him all fall break. We hung out all week. I stayed in his dorm, which happened to be the room that Colby Covington stayed in the following year when he moved there. How small of a world is that?
“To take things further, we both live in South Florida, probably 20 or 30 miles away from each other. We train at rival gyms. We have mutual friends, and I mean mutual friends that we talk to daily. So this is something that’s been set in stone. It’s been written.”
For now, the writing that binds Usman to his future is the bout agreement he’s signed to face Meek. It’s a fight he’s taking, because he is in the sport to prove he’s the best, to prove he will fight anyone at any time.
Usman hopes that whatever happens next in Covington’s career, he has the same mentality.
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Kamaru Usman: Colby Covington dodged UFC-St. Louis headliner, but he 'can't hide forever'