Kamaru Usman May Snub Covington To Fight Ben Askren Next

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UFC President Dana White has said that Kamaru Usman’s first welterweight championship defense will come against Colby Covington.

However, Usman might have other plans for the former interim welterweight champion. Usman told MMA Junkie at last weekend’s UFC 236 that with the way the division is shaping up, there are plenty of other fighters he could opt to defend his title against first:

“Look at where the division is now,” Usman said. “You’ve got freaking Anthony Pettis coming in and knocking out ‘Wonderboy,’ two-time title challenger. You’ve got Masvidal coming in and knocking out Darren Till, former title challenger.

There’s some things that are going on there. So based on how Ben Askren does in his next performance, that could be a possible option. Don’t forget Santiago Ponzinibbio is still out there. So, there’s options out there.”

Undeserving?

According to Usman, Covington goes around claiming he’s owed the title shot. But he hasn’t realistically earned it according to the champ, and he’s also not in the position to be making that decision:

“We all know Colby has avoided this fight for a long, long time. And you know what? Now it’s time for you to do the appropriate work to make sure that you deserve this. Because that’s what he does, that’s what he thrives on – he thinks he deserves everything. He always puts out out there ‘I deserve this, this is what you owe me.’ No. It’s not about that. You’re not in the driver’s seat to make that decision.”

Askren certainly seems intrigued by the prospect, as he responded with the following on Twitter:

“Funky” will face Jorge Masvidal at UFC 239 on pay-per-view (PPV) this summer. Should he emerge victorious, it will be hard to deny the former ONE Championship and Bellator welterweight champion a shot at the UFC’s 170-pound throne.