Ben Askren has been told that both Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington made the same mistake during UFC 244 negotiations.
The UFC initially wanted a welterweight title bout between champion Usman and Covington to headline their Nov. 2 pay-per-view. Talks stalled and as a result, the UFC attempted to book Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal. Once again, negotiations fell apart and the UFC is now going with a BMF title bout between Masvidal and Nate Diaz.
Askren Rips Usman & Covington Over Failed Talks
During his appearance on ESPN’s Ariel Helwani MMA Show, Askren revealed what he was told went wrong with talks between Usman, Covington, and the UFC (via BJPenn.com).
“These guys are idiots,” he said. “It’s not the first time I’ve told you they were idiots, and you guys should have listened to me before. I mean holy crap. These guys Covington and Kamaru can’t get it right — I called him Kamaru, his name is Marty, what am I talk about here? They can’t get it right! This is not from the UFC. This is my take, what I heard happened:
“Colby Covington says ‘I want a whole bunch of money,’” Askren continued. “Colby, you’re not worth that much money. I’m all about fighters’ rights here. I do think MMA fighters as a whole should probably be paid more. But at the same time, unless you’re part of that movement, you have to deal with yourself individually — one versus the UFC. So Colby shoots it way out of the ballpark, they say ‘yeah right dude, get lost. You’re not worth close to that much.’ He is not nearly as popular as you think. So [the UFC says] ‘Colby, get lost. We’re bringing in Jorge [Masvidal to fight Usman].’ Then Marty says ‘well if I’m fighting Jorge, I want more money!’ And they said ‘what? Nobody gives a damn about watching you fight, Marty. Get out of here!’ Then they made Jorge and Nate [Diaz] the main event, which people are excited for.”