Kamaru Usman believes that much of the MMA community has been misinformed about his young reign as UFC welterweight champion.
Kamaru Usman’s first title defense has officially been announced and it will be against Colby “Chaos” Covington at UFC 245 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. It certainly was not an easy fight to get done, though, with reports chronicling the struggles the UFC had in finalizing the bout, at one point moving on to a Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal exploration and then an Usman/Edwards possibility. Usman believes that the public perception of how his fights materialize is misaligned with the truth, stating that his opponent selection has nothing to do with him:
“I just wanted to fight to get to a title, and I thought once I got to the title, everything else would be easier after that,” Usman told MMA Junkie at Tuesday’s Dominance MMA media day. “That’s actually not the case. A lot of people are misinformed. They think you are the champion, you are picking who your next fights are. That’s not the case at all, you know?”
It would seem that the main holdup for Usman/Covington was from the Covington end, with Covington requesting more money for the fight, this according to UFC president Dana White. Covington’s version of events differs slightly in saying that Usman hadn’t agreed to fight, either. The UFC then tried to make Usman/Masvidal. Masvidal’s version of events says that Usman said no to that fight before saying yes. But after Usman initially said no, the UFC decided to move forward with the Diaz/Masvidal MSG fight instead, leading to the UFC entertaining a potential pairing of Usman/Edwards. All the while, Usman was in the background, letting management and the UFC settle on an opponent, which ultimately turned out to be Colby Covington at UFC 245.
“I’m still just a guy that’s told you’re going to fight this guy at this point,” Usman continued. “So I’m told ‘you’re going to fight this guy,’ and I’ve always accepted. The only thing that drew this out a little more was that I had a really tough surgery after the fight.”
Do you believe Kamaru Usman has been unfairly criticized regarding the booking of his first title defense?