Colby Covington says Kamaru Usman had no selection however to combat him.
Welterweight champion Usman (19-1 MMA, 14-0 UFC) will face Covington in the primary occasion of UFC 268 in a rematch of their back-and-forth battle at UFC 245, the place Usman stopped Covington with a late TKO.
One decide had Covington (16-2 MMA, 11-2 UFC) up three rounds to at least one earlier than he was stopped late in Round 5, and Usman was pushed like by no means earlier than in his profession. Covington was upset with the stoppage and thought a number of the calls referee Marc Goddard made within the combat had been questionable.
But regardless of campaigning for a fast rematch, Covington didn’t get his want. Usman went on to combat Gilbert Burns and Jorge Masvidal twice. Both Usman and his supervisor didn’t suppose Covington deserved a rematch, however finally, the extremely anticipated rematch got here to fruition and the arch rivals will lastly throw down once more Nov. 6 – towards Usman’s will, in response to Covington.
“It’s been tough,” Covington informed ESPN. “It wasn’t alleged to occur. They didn’t need it to occur. His supervisor, they had been refusing. They had been looking for each manner within the ebook out of combating this rematch. They didn’t need this combat, man, and the one cause they must take it’s the UFC gave him no selection. They mentioned, ‘Hey, you fight this fighter or we just strip you – it’s one or the opposite.’ You’ve acquired to come back out and show you’re one of the best on this planet. There must be no controversies surrounding this combat, so it’s been powerful.
“I had to go out and finish a former world champion in (Tyron) Woodley. He got two easy paychecks against lightweights that should have never been there. In his last fight, he’s beaten a guy ‘Street Judas’ Masvidal. I was beating that guy decades ago. That’s not an achievement. You’re proud for beating that guy? That guy is a lightweight, he shouldn’t even be up here at the top of the mountain.”
Usman has proven marked enhancements in his placing below coach Trevor Wittman and proven he’s not only a wrestler by scoring back-to-back knockout wins over Burns and Masvidal.
But Covington isn’t bought and doesn’t see many developments in Usman’s sport.
“I haven’t seen anything,” Covington mentioned. “I see the same fighter. He comes out with a heavy jab, has a big right hand. That’s kind of been the story of his career before, and that’s what he always went to in the past. So yeah, he’s knocking out lightweights, he’s knocking out guys that shouldn’t be in there with him. These are easy paychecks.”