Colby Covington Reveals Reason For Turning Down UFC 228 Title Fight

Kamil Krzaczynski for USA TODAY Sports

It’s apparently time Colby Covington reveals the real reason he’s not fighting at UFC 228.

‘Chaos’ won the interim title with a win over Rafael dos Anjos at June’s UFC 225. He was then thought to be moving onto a trash talk-filled rivalry with champion Tyron Woodley. But Covington claimed he was recovering from nasal surgery when the UFC wanted him to fight at September 8’s UFC 228.

‘The Chosen One’ had been out of action long enough due to his own surgery last summer, however. So Woodley vs. Darren Till was soon signed, therefore leaving Covington to be stripped when the fight begins.  Although Covington first claimed nasal surgery, he recently said via MMAjunkie he wanted the fight to have a long build-up as well:

“Why are they trying to rush a camp?” he said. “This fight needs a build-up, man. It needs a 12-week promotional build-up. Let me get out there and show that I can promote, and I can market fights and sell fights. Because nobody’s selling fights like me. I know how to do that now. These other guys, they don’t know how to do that. I wanted the fight, but I didn’t want the date. There was no way I was going to be ready.”

And maybe though it seems like Covington should be mad about the situation, he claims he is not. He’s more focused on the positives and will wait for the winner:

“It’s only been up for me. I don’t think about the negative in my life. I just think about the positives. They’re not stripping anything. I earned that belt. The only way you can take that belt is by beating me in the octagon, and there’s not a man alive that can beat me.

“Whether it’s ‘Tyquil’ Woodley or ‘Tillsbury Doughboy,’ I’ll be ready for that No. 1 contenders fight.”

While the still-interim champion claims he’s not focusing on losing out on the fight, his tenacity clearly still burns. Covington wondered why the UFC would rush Woodley vs. Till when his rivalry with the champ was a much better billing in his eyes.

Based on that, Covington issued a final warning to the champ:

“I want this fight more than anything,” Covington said. “I want this fight more than I want to breathe. Literally, that’s how badly I want this fight.

“It sucks. (The UFC is) looking at the short-term goals. Woodley-Till, that’s not going to do over 100,000 (pay-per-view) buys. I don’t know why they’re rushing to make that fight. Me and ‘Tyquil,’ that was going to be a big money fight. That was going to be a draw. That’s the fight I built. …

“It sucks, but it is what it is. Now, this time, I’m just hoping Tyron doesn’t (expletive) this up. That’s all I can say to him, is Tyron, don’t (expletive) this up. I built this. You didn’t build this.”