Colby Covington revealed on Monday that he was ready to fight Kamaru Usman at UFC 244 until the promotion refused to budge from what he says was an unacceptable offer.
"I was ready to fight, but the UFC came to me with the basic challenger’s offer," Covington told ESPN's Ariel Helwani. "I'm a champion (but) there was no negotiation. They came and ran at me and said, 'Here, take this or leave it and we'll pass it on to the next person.' That's not fair negotiating and that's not right. So I'm not going to take the first offer that you offer me."
Covington (15-1) defeated Robbie Lawler by unanimous decision at UFC Newark in August, which pushed his winning streak to eight straight. "Chaos" says that while the UFC refused to negotiate, it's Usman who has caused the bigger problems.
"Usman didn't want to fight anybody. He didn't want to fight me. He didn't want to fight my ex-best friend, Jorge (Masvidal). He didn't want to fight Leon (Edwards). The problem is Usman. The problem has nothing to do with me."
Usman (15-1) hasn't competed since March at UFC 235 when he defeated Tyron Woodley by unanimous decision and captured the welterweight title. Despite Usman being the 170-pound champion, Covington believes he's the "A-side" of the negotiations. The American Top Team product was never officially stripped of his interim title and wants to be paid what he's worth.
"I have a world title and they still want to treat me like crap. They still want to not give me any room to negotiate and work. It's not fair. The company is rolling in money. Thirty percent growth last month. We all know the ESPN deal. They’re making so much money. They need to make this right."
Covington hopes this proposed title fight can be moved to UFC Fight Night Washington D.C. on Dec. 7.