After Usman (13-1 MMA, 9-0 UFC) earned a dominant unanimous-decision victory over Rafael dos Anjos at The Ultimate Fighter 28 Finale, UFC President Dana White said the performance might’ve been enough for him to bypass Covington (14-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC) in the title queue for the next crack at reigning champ Tyron Woodley (19-3-1 MMA, 9-2-1 UFC).
Covington, who beat dos Anjos in an interim title fight at UFC 225 in June, said he caught wind of White’s comments after they were relayed to him second-hand. However, he was unfazed.
“I don’t pay attention too much to that kind of stuff,” Covington told MMAjunkie Radio. “I just focus on what I can control. I focus on my training, I focus on my belief and just everything. Improving every day as a martial artist, as a person, and just learning from everything. I don’t really take too much credit into that. People were saying Dana said some comments. I didn’t even hear his comments. I don’t pay attention; I didn’t know there was even a fight show on Friday night. … I got better (expletive) to do. I’m the cardio king. I’m out with all my chicks. …
“Dana White’s a smart man. He’s a business man. The numbers don’t lie. Any way you want to do it, I’m what’s best for business. Hate me or love me, I am what’s best for business. I don’t pay attention to any negative. I only focus on the positive.”
Even if Covington was concerned by the possibility of losing the Woodley fight, he said the argument for Usman is weak. Usman is currently on a nine-fight winning streak inside the octagon, with his two most recent bouts being signature showings against dos Anjos and Demian Maia.
Covington’s two most recent wins, meanwhile, are against the same names. However, he pointed out the fact that dos Anjos was 3-0 at welterweight when he beat him, while Maia was coming off a title-fight loss to Woodley.
“Snooze-man, his last two fights, he hasn’t beaten anybody coming off wins,” Covington said. “Don’t you think he should have to earn a fight against someone coming off a win? He just fought two guys that I’d already took their souls. Those guys were shells of their former selves, because I took those guys’ souls.
“So, Usman needs to go out there and prove himself and beat someone coming off a win. And then we can talk, you know? Besides that, the guy’s just copying everything I do. He literally wants to be me. He’s begging to be me.”
At this point, Covington said his sole focus revolves around fighting Woodley as soon as possible. Reports have surfaced that the UFC is targeting the matchup for UFC 233 on Jan. 26, but White recently hinted negotiations haven’t been easy with Woodley or Covington.
Covington said he’s “100 percent” ready to fight, though, and if it takes place at the January event in Anaheim, Calif., he’ll relish that setting.
“Ruining (Tyron Woodley’s) career in front of all his fake, Hollywood, liberal slime friends, that would be such a tip of my feather in my hat,” Covington said. “I’ll be ready whenever they need to make this fight, and if California is it, then California is it.”
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