UFC president Dana White claims Colby Covington wasn’t an option to replace Gilbert Burns.
Burns was scheduled to challenge UFC welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman, on July 11. The title bout would’ve headlined UFC 251 on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. Once Burns tested positive for COVID-19, Jorge Masvidal stepped in to save the main event and he will now challenge Usman.
Dana White Dismisses Idea That Colby Covington Was An Option For UFC 251
Before Masvidal was announced as Burns’ replacement, Covington was calling to be brought on to fight Usman in a rematch. Speaking to TMZ Sports, White made it clear that Masvidal was the only one who was in the running (h/t BJPenn.com).
“We were always talking to Masvidal,” White told TMZ when asked if Covington was in the running to fight Usman. “There was never a situation during the negotiations, if you will, that we didn’t think that Masvidal was going to take the fight.”
The UFC boss has admitted that Covington is more difficult to work with than it seems on the surface. While Covington has publicly said he’s ready to return and willing to take all of these opportunities, White says it’s a different story when it comes to the actual fight-making process. “Chaos” has claimed he’s been ready to fight since January.
Covington’s last outing was back in Dec. 2019. He challenged Usman for the UFC welterweight championship. Covington lost the bout via fifth-round TKO. “Chaos” has called for a rematch with Usman and grudge matches with Masvidal and Dustin Poirier.
It’ll be interesting to see when Covington will return to the Octagon and who he will be matched up against. With “Chaos” getting under the skin of many, it shouldn’t be hard to find willing participants. If White is to be believed, the issue lies with Covington and whether or not he is truly ready to fight again at the moment.