When Colby Covington beat Robbie Lawler at UFC Newark, it looked liked “Chaos” would finally get his chance to challenge for the welterweight title. Even UFC President Dana White said as much, stating that Covington was next in line for champion Kamaru Usman, and the UFC was targeting that title fight as the main event of UFC 244 at Madison Square Garden. But of course, that is not the case.
Negotiations between the UFC and Covington fell through for the third time, and now Nate Diaz vs. Jorge Masvidal will headline UFC 244 and Covington is once again left out in the cold. After things fell apart, Covington was quick to place the blame on the UFC and their “hostage negotiations” but at the first press conference for UFC 244 yesterday, Dana White provided his own side of the story.
“Here’s the thing with that,” White said. “Obviously, you heard me say in interviews after that fight that that was the fight I was gonna make. So Colby Covington can say whatever he wants. We make fights for a living, that’s what we do. We go after guys and say, ‘This is next. This is the date. Do you want the fight?’ He wanted more money to fight Usman, we went back and forth, this is the second time he’s done it. We had a fight in Dallas too, so we said if you don’t want to fight Usman, then we’ll give you Tyron Woodley. He turned down Tyron Woodley too. You either want to fight or you don’t. When Colby Covington’s ready to fight, he’ll let us know.”
Though White did not elaborate on exact numbers, he and Covington agree the issue came down to dollars and cents. Covington said that he was offered a “basic challenger’s rate” to fight Usman, but refused because the offer was less than what he made to fight Robbie Laweler and because he doesn’t view himself as a challenger. Covington won an interim title and has not lost since, only being stripped of the title he was stripped of the title when he was unable to fight then-champion Tyron Woodley on the UFC’s preferred timeline.
There also apparently was an offer to face Tyron Woodley again when Covington refused Usman but in contrast with White’s proclamation that Covington doesn’t want to fight, sources close to Covington told MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin that the offer was significantly less than the proposal for the Usman fight.
Since negotiations have fallen through, Covington is back on a one-man crusade against the UFC. It’s a place he’s been in before, having been passed over for title shots on two previous occasions, largely rumored to be the result of Covington asking for more than the UFC was willing to give. But Dana White doesn’t have much time to concern himself with that. Instead he’s focused on the Masvidal-Diaz fight because, he hints, the winner could be in line for the next shot at Usman instead.
“This fight’s a big deal for the division, for whose next in the title picture, and obviously a huge fan favorite fight,” White said. “This is one of those fights, Diaz went out and beat Pettis, comes out and gives his interview, calls out Jorge, this thing took a life of its own. It’s a big fight and it’s not only a fight that people want to see, it’s an important fight in the division and in the title picture.”
Usually, the third time is the charm but it appears Colby Covington may have struck out instead.
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The A-Side Live Chat.
UFC 244 presser.
Jorge on Get Up.
Jeremy Stephens’ best UFC finishes. He really does have a killer highlight reel.
Fight Camp with Stephen Thompson.
The MMA Vivisection. Breaking down the best fights at UFC Mexico City.
Poirier’s fight kit auction is now live.
Man, Mike looking old.
James Harden about as interested in punching something as he is in playing defense.
Dillon Danis offering to help.
Thanks for reading and see y’all on Monday.
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