Covington wants fight with Usman, not Woodley


Colby Covington no longer wants to fight Tyron Woodley, and he doesn’t want to beef with American Top Team teammate Dustin Poirier.

He just wants one thing: a rematch with UFC welterweight champ Kamaru Usman.

Covington said Wednesday during an interview on Submission Radio that he was willing to fight Woodley this Saturday on short notice to save a card that was originally scheduled for London, but was later moved out of England and ultimately postponed — along with the cards on the following two weekends.

But once the UFC gets rolling again, Covington isn’t interested in Woodley. He wants a rematch with the fighter he calls “Marty FakeNewsman.” Usman beat Covington via fifth-round TKO on Dec. 14 at UFC 245. Covington blamed referee Marc Goddard for a bad stoppage and claimed Usman faked getting poked in the eye and kicked in the groin, which he said changed the momentum of the fight.

“That ship has sailed with Tyron Woodley,” Covington said during the radio show. “I got bigger and better business to handle, and that’s with ‘Marty FakeNewsman.’

“I was willing to save the day for the UFC and step up on six days’ notice to fight Woodley, but with a full camp I want my title shot and I want ‘Marty FakeNewsman.'”

UFC president Dana White said he’s focused on Usman defending his belt against Jorge Masvidal during International Fight Week on July 11. Masvidal is coming off a huge 2019 and is looking to parlay his three-fight winning streak into a lucrative payday. Covington believes Masvidal, whose nickname is Street Jesus, may price himself out of the Usman fight.

“They’ve been talking about this fight … for 2-3 months now,” Covington said. “Why has this fight not been signed? I called this from the start. I said ‘Journeyman’ Jorge Masvidal is scared to fight ‘Marty Fake Newsman.’ He doesn’t want to fight him.

“He wants more money than he’s worth. He’s going to wait out and try to get the Conor [McGregor] fight. And he’s going to realize that he overplayed his hand. He’s an overhyped job. He hit lightning in a bottle [in 2019]. No one is going to care about him in a couple months.”

Covington said he’d love to fight the winner of Usman-Masvidal, but he didn’t say if he’d be willing to wait until the fall to fight next. He sounds like he expects Usman to beat Masvidal.

“I’ll get my rematch with ‘Marty FakeNewsman’ one way or another,” Covington said. “He’s got nowhere to go. We will settle this. We only had one battle, the war is still to come.”

Masvidal also trains at American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Fla., but there was no olive branch extended in that bitter relationship. Covington, however, did go out of his way during the interview to apologize to Poirier for things he said during an Instagram Live chat on ESPN MMA’s account with Ariel Helwani, and also for past comments.

“I want to apologize to my teammate Dustin Poirier,” Covington said. “I broke a promise to my agent [and ATT owner] Dan Lambert, and I really do feel bad. I feel ashamed.”

Covington had become a lightning rod at American Top Team because of public feuds with several of its stars, including former friend Masvidal, Poirier, Joanna Jedrzejczyk and others. Covington said last fall that he didn’t feel safe there. But apparently, he vowed to mend the relationship with at least one teammate.

“I kind of lost my cool,” Covington said during the Submission Radio interview. “I was too busy spitting fire on the world and I was so hyped up about the Woodley fight that I kind of went off on Dustin, and I just want to say that I’m sorry, Dustin. You’re still my friend, we can be friends. I’m sorry about hurting your feelings and saying some words in the past that might have hurt your feelings. And business goes back as usual at American Top Team. I want to have a civil gym and I don’t want there to be drama or beef in the gym. I want to keep things civil.”

Covington said he wants to sit with Poirier so they can both get things off their chests.

But as far as Masvidal and Jedrzejczyk? The heat is still on.

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