Former UFC Interim Welterweight Champion Colby Covington and UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman were reportedly set to meet at UFC 244, but negotiations fell through and the bout wasn’t put together.
UFC President Dana White says Covington’s demand for more money is what led to the negotiations falling apart.
“So here’s the thing with that,” White said at the UFC 244 pre-fight press conference (via Nolan King & Matt Erickson of MMA Junkie). “Obviously, you heard me say in interviews after (Diaz defeated Pettis) that was the fight I was going to make. So Colby Covington can say whatever he wants, but we make fights for a living. That’s what we do. We go after guys and we say, ‘This is next. This is the date. Do you want the fight?’ Obviously he wanted more money to fight Usman. We went back and forth.”
Covington blasted the UFC’s negotiations tactics after the bout fell through, saying the UFC was using slave labor negotiations.
White also says that Covington has turned down other opportunities to fight for the title as well.
“This is the second time he’s done it,” White said. “He 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 is willing to fight, he’ll let us know.”
Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz are now headlining UFC 244, with the winner becoming the BMF Champion.