Covington Blames Negotiation Tactics On Failed UFC 244 Matchmaking
The UFC not being able to book a welterweight title fight between champion Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington which came as quite a shock to the MMA world. Especially because of the bout seeming to be finalized for UFC 244 in Madison Square Garden. Apparently, even MSG wasn’t enough to entice Covington. He spoke to Ariel Helwani on his MMA Show to explain why the fight isn’t happening between him and Kamaru due to negotiation tactics
Colby Explains his Stance
Ariel didn’t waste any time in asking Colby his side of the story. Almost immediately, he asked Colby what happened during the process of making the match.
“My story (is) I’m ready to fight. I was ready to fight but the UFC came to me with (a) basic challengers offer,” said Covington. “I’m a champion and 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 just going (to) take the first offer that you offer me. We need to meet in the middle, there’s more to be done.
Colby Blames Usman and the UFC for Contract Setbacks
Covington said, “Also, I’m the A-side and you can’t even get the B-side (deal) done with Usman so why are we even rushing it?” He continued, “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. So the problem is Usman, it has nothing to do with me.”
Although Colby seems to be putting the blame on the UFC for their negotiation tactics and Usman for his lack of ‘desire” to fight, fans believe that Colby is just as much to blame. Even though Usman has stated otherwise, As expected, Colby had an answer for that as well.
“Nah it didn’t bother me, it’s whatever,” said Colby in reference to fans thinking he is as much to blame. Everybody knows I have the most haters (and) everybody knows what happened in the PPV last time in LA. 17, 18 thousand fans got on their feet booing, screaming.. this and that.” Convington was on a roll and kept going.
“I stole the show and I wasn’t even on the jumbotron. I expect to get the grunt of the blame all (of) the time and people to blame me for things that aren’t my problem. It comes with the territory.”
Who is to Blame
If Covington’s words ring true, equal placement can be blamed on all three parties for not getting the deal done. Negotiation tactics are between two parties. But, Colby seems to think that the bulk of it can be blamed on the UFC.
If they truly only offered what Covington said they did, it would raise questions. How much value does the UFC believe Colby brings to the company? It would also be a reality check for Covington who believes he is a UFC champion and should be paid as such.
Whichever way you slice it, it seems like at the moment, this deal is far from being reached. Now that the information is public, expect the UFC to sneak in and try to reach an agreement. After all, the fans have been wanting this fight for a while. Both opponents want the fight as well and whatever makes money, makes sense.