After Khamzat Chimaev fell out of his scheduled fight against Leon Edwards for the second time, the UFC immediately looked at Colby Covington as a potential replacement. The only problem being that Covington made it clear that he had no interest in participating in what he considered to be a “charity fight.” This was a risky decision to be sure because UFC President Dana White proclaimed that this bout would be a #1-contender fight. “Risky” is one way to put it, but reigning UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman believes that even the word “mistake” would be putting it mildly.
“I think he made a huge mistake, a tremendous mistake because one, who turns down a paycheck? He turned down a paycheck. That’s horrible. You can’t do that,” Usman began in an interview with MMA Junkie. “And on top of it, you turn down a chance for you to really remind the fans…I mean, I understand you got a win, but that’s one win in how long? And Woodley’s coming off of a two-fight, three-fight skid? So it’s a tough one to basically say, hey, you got one win. Alright, you’re going back in, for a guy who’s coming off a two-fight, three-fight skid. That was a tough one.
“So for you to sit here and demand, oh, yeah, I’ve done enough, I demand a shot…first of all, you weren’t their favorite in the first place. You’re not. And it’s not necessarily that you’re selling mad pay per views. You don’t really do that as well. So for you to sit here and demand something like that, I think it’s ridiculous.”
Usman Believes A Win Over Edwards Would’ve Solidified Title Shot
Instead of making demands, Usman believes that a win over Leon Edwards would have left no doubt that Covington was deserving of a title shot. Instead, that honor will possibly go to Edwards himself with a victory over Belal Muhammad on March 13 while Covington may be left on the sidelines through his own inaction.
“I think the best way for you to solidify your title shot is to go out there and fight?,” Usman continued. “And what better way than to knock off the #3 guy? He’s making his way up. He’s making his claim to the throne, that he deserves that shot. What better way than to knock him off? He failed to do that, and I think he made a tremendous mistake in that.”
Do you agree with Kamaru Usman? Did Colby Covington make a big mistake by turning down the Leon Edwards fight?