Unfortunately, Usman and Covington couldn’t come to terms with the UFC in time to put the fight together at Madison Square Garden. Instead, the title bout was booked for the upcoming UFC 245 card on Dec. 14 in Las Vegas.
UFC 244’s headliner was then re-booked as a welterweight showdown between Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz, with the winner to be crowned the “baddest motherf—ker on the planet,” complete with a championship belt worth $50,000 designed specifically for the fight.
It’s a unique, first of its kind situation. But the UFC couldn’t ignore the groundswell of attention when Diaz called out Masvidal following his win over Anthony Pettis in August.
There was a less than enthusiastic reaction from Usman, however, because he couldn’t quite figure out why Masvidal or Diaz would consider themselves the “baddest motherf—ker” in the sport, especially after taking a look at their shared records.
“Let’s be honest, on the promotional side, I think they dropped the ball in getting my fight done, because that was the fight that should be at [Madison Square Garden],” Usman said during the Dominance MMA media day on Tuesday. “They dropped the ball getting that fight done, so they have to create something to sell a fight.”
“I mean look at those two guys, let’s be honest, these two guys have over 20 losses combined. Twenty losses. How you call yourself a ‘BMF’ and you’ve got 20 losses combined? A baddest motherf—ker alive is a guy no one can touch. You’ve got 20 losses, sit yo ass down, you’re not a bad motherf—cker.”
As far as what led to the delay in his fight with Covington, which led to the creation of the “BMF” title fight, Usman chalked it up to negotiations on all sides that weren’t settled in time for the New York event.
“This game as champion, being at the top of it, there’s a lot of things that have to take place for a fight to come to fruition, which on my side, my team, their side, their team and of course the big promotion itself,” Usman explained. “So I know my team, we always do the best job to make the fights happen.
“Since day one, since I got into this promotion, I’ve only said no to one fight, and that was Sergio Moraes, which I later on took that fight, and we saw what happened. So I say yes to everyone. I said yes to these fights as well, but you know I can’t speak for the other two sides, the promotion itself, and my opponent’s side.”
Thankfully, Usman, Covington and the UFC were able to come to an agreement, and now the fight is official for Dec. 14. That’s all that matters to the reigning welterweight champion.
“That’s water under the bridge,” Usman said. “The fight is now set Dec. 14, and I’m going to do my best to separate that young man from consciousness.”