mma / News

Colby Covington Says He Was Offered ‘Basic Challenger’s Rate’ For UFC 244 Fight

September 11, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Colby Covington

Colby Covington will not face Kamaru Usman as expected at UFC 244, and the challenger says it’s about money. Covington spoke with MMA Fighting and said that the talks for the bout fell apart because he was not being offered what he thought he was worth.

Highlights from the discussion are below:

On negotiations for the fight breaking down: “What happened exactly was the UFC came to me and offered me a basic challenger’s rate. I said no, I’m not challenging. I’m champion. I’ve never lost, I just defended my title. I brought in the Trumps. I got a tweet from (U.S. President Donald) Trump, that’s like $3.5 million in marketing. If you break down the analytics of it, in itself, just to promote their show. I’ve put my life on the line for this company. Went to Brazil, said outlandish things where people literally wanted to kill me and I had gangs in favelas coming after me and they still want to come at me with this basic challenger, entry fee type money? I’m standing up for what’s right.”

On the company no9t being willing to budge: “They didn’t give me a negotiation. They said ‘take this or we’ll just move onto someone else’. That’s not negotiating. That’s bad business and if that’s how they want to do business, that’s their problem. That’s not my problem. They came with those hostage negotiations. They come and say ‘take this offer or we’ll just move onto the next person’. That’s not how negotiating works. I read Art of the Deal from Donald Trump. I know how to work a deal and how deals work. They’re not going to take advantage of me and try to put me in a hostage position where they don’t give me any say or any room to negotiate. That’s not fair and it’s not right.”

On the offer being less than what he was paid for Robbie Lawler: “That is accurate. It’s crazy, it’s corrupt and it’s not right. The fighters need to learn a piece of advice from me and learn from my situation that you’ve got to stand up for what you believe in and what you earn more importantly. The company’s killing it. 30 percent growth last quarter, making billions, the ESPN deal, sponsor revenue, they’re absolutely killing it and they’re going to go public soon and they don’t want to pay the fighters. I’m one of one. No one has done what I’ve done. No one has broke the record for most strikes thrown in a fight. No one went to the White House. No one’s hung out with the Trumps in Trump Tower. I’ve done things that no one has ever done before and look how the UFC treats me. How do you think they’re going to treat other guys who haven’t even done half of what I’ve done?”