‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ is expected to battle the controversial ‘Chaos’ following Covington’s clean-sweep over Robbie Lawler at last weekend’s UFC Newark. However, Usman recently told Chael Sonnen the fight is not official as of yet:
“No, that is not official. Nothing’s official until I sign on the line yet, so, yeah, nothing’s official yet. This is all merely speculations of what we want and what we don’t want.”
Usman was asked if Covington was still next and if Jorge Masvidal was still in the picture. The champion revealed that there may even be a fourth man in the title picture. That was so-called ‘dark horse’ Leon Edwards:
“I would think so, but this is one thing that I’ve learned over the years, is that until it’s finally signed by both parties and hey, that’s gonna happen, nothing’s official yet. Because they’ve said time and time again, ‘Hey, this guy’s next and it didn’t happen. That guy’s next, and it didn’t happen. So, you know, I would like to think it’s between those three, but, I would say more a dark horse is Leon Edwards, who just kind of thrust himself into the mix. So, I would give it a four-man circus right now going on.”
That would suggest there’s a bit more to the welterweight title picture than initially thought. Nonetheless, Usman admitted Covington did have a good night against ‘Ruthless’:
“He had a good night. He had a good night, I can’t take anything away. It was his night.”
All To Sell A Fight
But the praise was done there, as Usman noted there were some ingenuine practices in play from his point of view. He revealed that Covington supposedly told Lawler, ‘I love you man,’ after they were done fighting. Then, he outright trashed Lawler and his mentor, former UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes, with a personal attack about Hughes’ train accident.
To Usman, it was a bit of a double standard after all the bad blood Covington stirred up heading into the bout:
“See, this is the thing that I don’t understand. I understand what he’s doing. You’re bringing something, and I get it, and I appreciate it. As much as I don’t like him, I appreciate what he’s doing. But the problem is, now you blur those lines because if you watch that fight, you watch what happened at the end, yeah, he talked all the talk about Robbie. About this and that, basically trying to sell the fight. I get that.
“And then after the fight, they’re shaking hands, you actually watch him, and I’m decent at reading lips, you actually watch him say, ‘I love you, man.’ Basically stating that I understand, but I want you to understand I’m just selling this fight here. And I get that. But then you get back on the mic and you say something as personal as that. I mean, that blurs all lines from entertainment because that is personal. So I think that was too far. I think he has done a few things that are too far.”
Usman Not Buying Covington’s Dangerous Act
Usman closed by offering his belief that Covington’s team isn’t doing him any favors by pushing the envelope with his character so much. ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ believes that the fact so many civilians are looking for him to suffer bad things proves that:
“Because whoever’s writing his lines, whoever’s advising him on, you know, this is the direction to play this heel, I don’t think they’re doing a good job of toting that line of playing the character, because now it’s at the point, you put that character down, you have to walk outside. There has to be security with you because now even civilians have a problem with you.”