Kamaru Usman last competed in March at UFC 235, dominating Tyron Woodley in a five-round decision to win the UFC welterweight championship.
A day after, “the Nigerian nightmare,” along with his manager Ali Abdelaziz, were involved in a skirmish with Colby Covington inside a Las Vegas casino that almost turned physical.
A fight between Usman, who had a small surgery, and Covington, who was the interim welterweight champion at the time, seemed to be on the horizon.
UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman Has Been Reluctant to Defend his Belt
But the fight has yet to happen.
Usman recently said he is ready to “deliver another whooping” when the money and opponent are right, insinuating that Covington is not a worthy opponent. But the 32-year-old Auchi, Nigeria native is only harming himself by refusing to defend his belt.
Reports have surfaced suggesting the UFC has considered stripping Usman of his crown due to the inability to get him to sign on the dotted line for a main event bout with Covington at UFC 244 in New York City.
Insert Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal.
The two brash fighters will compete for the made up ‘BMF’ title in place of the real welterweight belt. An assignment headlining a pay-per-view card in the ‘Big Apple’ surely comes with a large financial gain for all involved. It also comes when the interest in both athletes is at an all-time high.
Diaz is coming off an exciting win over Anthony Pettis and Masvidal just recorded the fastest knockout in UFC history over Ben Askren, rendering him unconscious in just 5 seconds.
In short, Diaz and Masvidal are capitalizing on their relevancy, something Usman has failed to take advantage of.
Regardless of who wins at Madison Square Garden in November, Covington should still be the number one contender at welterweight and the UFC can easily market him vs the Masvidal/Diaz winner. Leaving Usman with little leverage moving forward. The UFC is clearly ready to move on, fan interest is higher in the ‘BMF’ title than the real one, Usman is losing a clear pay-day and he is likely getting on Dana White’s bad side.
Usman needs to put his pride aside and give Covington the fight, even if he feels that the MAGA hat wearing Clovis, California boy does not deserve it. If he chooses not to, do not be surprised if the UFC either strips him of his belt or creates a new interim championship.
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