Colby Covington says Kamaru Usman does not want to rematch him on November 6 at UFC 268 and is only doing so because the promotion threatened to strip him of the welterweight title if he refused the fight.

‘Chaos’ gave Usman the toughest night of his UFC career in 2019. The 170lb duo went toe-to-toe for five rounds before ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ picked up a TKO victory in the final frame.

Despite Covington’s calling for an immediate rematch Usman has since gone on to defend his strap against Gilbert Burns and Jorge Masvidal (twice).

According to the former interim welterweight champion, Usman did everything he could to avoid squaring off with him at UFC 268.

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“It’s been tough,” Covington told ESPN. “It wasn’t supposed to happen. They did not want it to happen. His manager, they were refusing. They were trying to find every way in the book out of fighting this rematch. They didn’t want this fight, man, and the only reason they have to take it is the UFC gave him no choice. They said, ‘Hey, you fight this fighter or we just strip you – it’s one or the other.’ You’ve got to come out and prove you’re the best in the world. There needs to be no controversies surrounding this fight, so it’s been tough.

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“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.”

Covington doesn’t believe Usman has got any better since their first fight.

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“I haven’t seen anything,” Covington said. “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.” (Transcribed by MMA Junkie)

Do you think Kamaru Usman would prefer to avoid a rematch with Colby Covington?

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A lifelong fight fan from Liverpool, England who has been covering mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing for several years. Follow @JordanEllisUK on Twitter for all the latest fight news, views, interviews and live event coverage.