Ben Askren slams “idiots” Kamaru Usman & Colby Covington

Askren lets loose on Usman and Covington for botched negotiations: "I’ve told you they were idiots, and you guys should have listened to me before"

Ben Askren made a big name for himself by slamming other fighters, and he’s continuing on that path. Recently it was made clear that the plans for booking a welterweight titel fight between reigning champ Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington fell through. The bout was planned for UFC 244 in New York City, but now it seems the negotiations went south.

In a recent interview, Askren detailed what he felt was the cause for Usman vs Covington being scrapped – and he didn’t hold back.


“These guys are idiots,” Askren said during an appearance on the Ariel Helwani Show. “It’s not the first time I’ve told you they were idiots, and you guys should have listened to me before. I mean holy crap. These guys Covington and Kamaru can’t get it right — I called him Kamaru, his name is Marty, what am I talk about here? They can’t get it right! This is not from the UFC. This is my take, what I heard happened:

“Colby Covington says ‘I want a whole bunch of money,’” Askren continued. “Colby, you’re not worth that much money. I’m all about fighters’ rights here. I do think MMA fighters as a whole should probably be paid more. But at the same time, unless you’re part of that movement, you have to deal with yourself individually — one versus the UFC. So Colby shoots it way out of the ballpark, they say ‘yeah right dude, get lost. You’re not worth close to that much.’ He is not nearly as popular as you think. So [the UFC says] ‘Colby, get lost. We’re bringing in Jorge [Masvidal to fight Usman].’ Then Marty says ‘well if I’m fighting Jorge, I want more money!’ And they said ‘what? Nobody gives a damn about watching you fight, Marty. Get out of here!’ Then they made Jorge and Nate [Diaz] the main event, which people are excited for.”

As of now it’s uncertain as to when or where the title fight between Usman and Covington will take place.

Meanwhile, Askren has been booked for his third fight in the UFC. On October 26th he will take on two-time title challenger Demian Maia in the main event at UFC Singapore. Askren debuted against former champ Robbie Lawler, winning via controversial, first round submission. He then faced Jorge Masvidal at UFC 239, getting brutally knocked out in just five seconds.

What do you make of Askren’s assessment of Usman vs Covington? 

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With roots in muay thai and as an avid combat sports fan, Sebastian Vendel-Martinez grew up while the MMA scene was blossoming in Sweden. He became part of the MMAnytt team in 2012 and has gone on to become one of the most prominent MMA reporters in Scandinavia. Currently he continues to work as a writer, reporter, video producer/editor and head editor for