Polarizing UFC Star Working on Massive New Deal

Colby Covington

Getty UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman punches Colby Covington.

Colby Covington has been uncharacteristically quiet of late but the UFC welterweight contender and his representation have been working behind the scenes on a new deal that would pay him handsomely.

Covington is 17-3 in his career but hasn’t been able to get over the hump to become a champion, falling to Kamaru Usman twice. However, the 34-year-old is still one of the top draws in the UFC and is in line to battle for a title again.

Something that is pushing Covington in negotiations is the fact that his former friend turned rival, Jorge Masvidal, just got paid. Unlike other professional sports, specifics of fighter salaries are not released.

“His contract pays him like a champion and then some,” Masvidal’s agent Malki Kawa told ESPN. “And the length of time will be that he will finish his career in the UFC.”

Kawa told ESPN the extension makes him a top-five paid fighter on the UFC roster.

Covington’s Coach: He Wants to Earn More Than Masvidal

Masvidal’s contract was announced before his last fight — a lopsided loss to Covington. Masvidal has lost three straight — twice to Usman and once to “Chaos.”

Covington’s coach at MMA Masters, Daniel Valverde, recently told AG Fight that wanting to be paid more than Masvidal is a motivating factor in negotiations.

“[Covington] did well, but Masvidal made more than he did,” Valverde said (h/t My MMA News). “Now Colby is renewing his contract with the UFC, so we believe that the UFC will give him a good [salary] raise. He has a number in his head and he doesn’t think he deserves to earn less than Masvidal. Technically he’s a better guy than Masvidal. In terms of sales too, despite the fact that Masvidal sells a lot. So he thinks he deserves to make more or at the same level as Masvidal.

“He has a great relationship with Dana [White], with the UFC, so he only speaks well of the company,” he continued. “He doesn’t want to leave the UFC, that’s not an option. He’s happy there, he wants to be champion and he’s going to chase the wins to fight for the belt. He’s a very determined guy and he won’t stop until he achieves his goal.”

Covington Dealing With Issues Outside Octagon

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Covington was criticized for some of his trash talk leading up to his fight with Masvidal, which boiled over and turned into an altercation outside of the octagon. Covington reportedly suffered a broken tooth during an alleged exchange with Masvidal at a Miami restaurant. Masvidal has since been charged with battery over the incident.

Dana White condemned the move from Masvidal but also thought Covington should have been more prepared, considering their war of words and history.

“I say this all the time, first of all, in no way shape or form do I ever condone violence in people, my guys fighting each other in the streets and shit like that,” White said on the Pat McAfee show. “But on the flip side, when you’re dealing with a guy like Jorge Masvidal and you start talking about his family, all these fighters — listen, say what you want to say about me, you hate me, you think I’m ugly, whatever my thing is, but when you start talking about people’s families it goes to a whole ‘nother level. You talk about people’s families and you’re walking out of a restaurant and you better be ready for a guy like Jorge Masvidal to run up on you.”

Covington doesn’t currently have a fight lined up but could face a streaking Khamzat Chimaev next.

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