Michael Bisping has done a bit of an about-face when it comes to Colby Covington’s negotiation tactics.
Covington has made it no secret that he hasn’t been pleased with how the UFC makes fight offers. “Chaos” has said that the UFC does “slave labor” negotiations and doesn’t give fighters much of a chance to make counter-offers. Things changed quickly, however, as Covington will finally challenge UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman at UFC 245 on Dec. 14.
Bisping Retracts Comments, Has Praise For Covington
Taking to his Believe You Me podcast, Bisping admitted that he feels Covington played his cards right after all.
“I’ve done a pretty good job of sh*tting all over Colby Covington, but now I’m gonna retract my statements because he played it well. Cause I said, ‘alright he wanted the title fight forever, but he turned it down.’ He was supposed to fight Woodley, but apparently he was injured. So there was that whole thing, so it didn’t make Colby look good. Then they offered him Kamaru Usman, apparently turned it down cause he wanted more money. Then they offered him Tyron Woodley and he turned that down. Now he’s fighting Usman after all at the end-of-the-year show.”
Bisping went on to say that he understands why Covington didn’t take the Tyron Woodley fight once UFC 244 negotiations fell apart.
“To be honest, now it looks like Colby played it correctly because he’s got the title fight. So number one, I understand him turning down the Woodley fight. Why you gonna take Woodley on? Woodley’s a tough fight for anybody. He’s a very, very tough fight. He was the champion up until very, very recently. So if they offer you a title fight because the money wasn’t right, for the UFC to then offer you Woodley that doesn’t make sense for Covington. Now I was quick to throw him under a bus and say, ‘this guy doesn’t wanna fight anybody.’ But it seems like perhaps, and I don’t know this is no circle of trust issues here, one would assume that they went back to the negotiating table and all parties are happy.”