UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman agrees with his manager that Colby Covington isn't the division's rightful next challenger.
After Usman knocked out Jorge Masvidal last month, UFC president Dana White said Covington - who lost to Usman in one of 2019's best fights - would get the next title shot. But the champion doesn't believe Covington has done enough to earn a second chance at UFC gold.
"I'm not going to say I don't want the fight," Usman told ESPN's Brett Okamoto on Thursday. "I want all the smoke. ... At the end of the day, it's what have you done to earn this? Your claim to fame can't be, 'Oh, I went five rounds, and then the guy broke my jaw and finished (me).'"
"It doesn't even really make sense to me," Usman said of a potential rematch against Covington.
The biggest issue Usman has with the UFC eyeing Covington as his next opponent is the fact that "Chaos" is only 1-0 since their first bout, while he's recorded three title defenses in the same amount of time.
"You can't sit around and fight three fights in three years and expect to get a title shot when I've just done three fights in nine months," Usman said. "The champ can't be the most active guy in the division. I've been through the whole division and now I'm coming back around. Everyone just kind of sitting around and saying, 'I'm next, I'm next, I'm next,' I don't really believe in that. Show me something. Show me some activity."
Usman pointed to Leon Edwards, Michael Chiesa, and Vicente Luque - who are all riding lengthy unbeaten streaks - as better candidates for the next title shot.
Though he doesn't think this is the right time to fight Covington, "The Nigerian Nightmare" said he is, in fact, interested in booking that rematch down the road.
"I understand it's a fun fight, it's an incredible fight, it's a fight that I like because I went to that place, I went to that violent place," Usman said. "And of course, I wouldn't mind going there again. I just went there last week (against Masvidal). So I wouldn't mind going there again. It just needs to make sense. And when it makes sense, absolutely, we can do it."