After winning one fight and sitting out for several months, Colby Covington is finally set to get a rematch with Kamaru Usman. Ahead of this fight, he questions how much the champ has actually improved since the first meeting.
The first fight between Usman and Covington was an all-out war, with both men having moments before the eventual fifth round TKO for Kamaru. Since then, Colby has been vying for the rematch, only taking a single fight against Tyron Woodley, before the UFC finally announced that the two were set to square off again at UFC 268.
Since their first encounter, Kamaru Usman fought three other times, including two knockouts over the likes of Gilbert Burns and Jorge Masvidal. However speaking in a recent interview, Colby made it clear that he does not feel like this is a sign of improvement from the champ, only that he is facing former lightweights who are smaller than him.
“He’s knocking out lightweights, he’s knocking out guys that shouldn’t be in there with him. These are easy paychecks and there’s a reason he fought those guys, because he knew he was going to win,” Covington said (h/t MMAFighting).
“A former training partner of his, Dilbert, the guy should have never been in there. ‘Street Judas’ Masvidal? The only reason he’s in that position is because he’s got all the hype on him. No one cares to see that guy fight. He’s not a top-tier fighter. ‘Street Judas’ Masvidal is the most fragile guy on the UFC roster and he deserves no place fighting in a championship fight and we found that out.”
The UFC Was Going To Strip Kamaru Usman?
While Colby Covington may not feel like Kamaru Usman’s last few wins have been impressive, it was enough to propel him into the top position on the pound-for-pound rankings. Despite this, Colby claims that the UFC had to make some serious threats to get the champ to take this rematch.
Colby claims that the UFC threatened to strip Usman of the title if he did not accept this fight. It was only because of this, that Colby believes Kamaru decided to fight him the second time, after what he feels was a controversial first fight.
“It’s been such a journey. It’s been tough. It wasn’t supposed to happen. They did not want it to happen. His manager, they were refusing. They were trying to find every way in the book out of fighting this rematch. They didn’t want this fight and the only reason they have to take it is the UFC gave them no choice,” Covington explained.
“They said, ‘Hey, you fight this fight or we strip you. It’s one or the other. You’ve got to come out and prove you’re the best in the world. There needs to be no controversy surrounding this fight.’ So it’s been tough.”
Nobody Wants To Fight Colby Covington
One of the biggest criticisms against Colby Covington getting this rematch with Kamaru Usman, is the fact that he has only fought once since losing the first fight. Even that fight was more than a year ago.
That said, Colby’s side of things is that the only reason he did not fight more is because nobody wants to fight him. He claims that he was trying to fight more often but no one, including Jorge Masvidal specifically, wanted to take him on.
“The fact is no one wanted to fight me. Go to Hunter Campbell, go to Dana White, ask them the truth. No one would fight me. ‘Street Judas’ Masvidal, they wanted to make this big hype fight, best friends turned rivals who hate each other’s guts now. He was running his mouth in the media saying all this and that, ‘I’ll drop Colby on sight, that guy’s fragile, blah blah blah.’ There’s no one more fragile than ‘Street Judas’ Masvidal. That guy got – is he even awake yet, or is he still sleeping from the last time he fought Usman?” Covington said.
“I was trying to put on the biggest and best fights for the UFC. No one wanted to take the bait so now we are here and we get the best fight in the welterweight division and it’s gonna be a real treat for the fans.”
Regardless of what the truth is behind these statements, Colby Covington finally has what he wants, which is the rematch with Kamaru Usman. The two will be headlining a massive card in the form of UFC 268, set to go down November 6th.