A welterweight title fight might not be in the cards until a little later into the 2019 calendar year, but Kamaru Usman says he has a fight offer on the table.
“I’m going to go out there and knock out Colby Covington,” Usman said. “That, right now, is the fight. The UFC just called and they offered us that fight. They said, ‘Colby Covington, in January.’ And you know what I’m gonna do. Of course I’ve accepted it – for the fifth time, I’ve accepted the fight. Right now, we’re just waiting on him.
“I guarantee you he’s going to say no. I think there’s a 0.0001 percent chance will make (Covington) fight (me). … But if it’s up to Colby Covington, no.”
Covington has been waiting for a shot at champ Tyron Woodley (19-3-1 MMA, 9-2-1 UFC), whose recent hand surgery reportedly wouldn’t have him ready for the UFC 233 pay-per-view on Jan. 26 in Anaheim, Calif. Covington had to miss out on a fight with Woodley in September due to his own surgery, and Woodley instead dismantled the previously unbeaten Darren Till.
But UFC 233 got a wrinkle Wednesday when the previously announced headliner between flyweight champ Henry Cejudo and bantamweight champ T.J. Dillashaw was moved to a week earlier in Brooklyn, N.Y. – leaving UFC 233 in need of a title fight.
This past Friday, Usman took apart former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos with a dominant unanimous decision win at the TUF 28 Finale. After the fight, UFC President Dana White said Usman’s performance might have been enough for him to jump the line past Covington for the next crack at Woodley.
For his part, Woodley appears to be focused in on Covington and issued him a challenge earlier this week for when – or if? – they fight. Covington challenged him right back, and also told MMAjunkie Radio on Tuesday he doesn’t believe Usman currently is worthy of a title shot.
“‘Snooze-man’ – his last two fights, he hasn’t beaten anybody coming off wins,” Covington told MMAjunkie Radio. “Don’t you think he should have to earn a fight against someone coming off a win? He just fought two guys that I’d already took their souls. Those guys were shells of their former selves because I took those guys’ souls.
“So Usman needs to go out there and prove himself and beat someone coming off a win, and then we can talk.”
Usman’s most recent two wins were over dos Anjos, whom Covington beat for the interim welterweight title in June, and Demian Maia, whom Covington took a decision from in October 2017. (Coincidentally, Maia has three losses in a row – to Woodley, Covington and Usman, the three fighters at the top of the pecking order.)
For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.
- UFC on ESPN+ 1 gets Henry Cejudo vs. T.J. Dillashaw, Joanne Calderwood vs. Ariane Lipski from UFC 233
- Colby Covington tears down Kamaru Usman's recent wins: 'I'd already took their souls'
- UFC 231 co-main event breakdown: Does Jedrzejczyk's volume or Shevchenko's precision win out?
Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Kamaru Usman says he's been offered Colby Covington fight, but doesn't expect acceptance