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Kamaru Usman issues statement in wake of Covington-Lawler, eyes Ben Askren in November

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Usman vs Edwards Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is going to keep the 170-pound assembly line moving despite the absence of newly-crowned welterweight kingpin, Kamaru Usman, recently booking a five-round main event between top contender, Colby Covington, and former champion, Robbie Lawler.

Covington (14-1) was already in line for the next crack at “The Nigerian Nightmare’s” crown and a victory over Lawler would only further cement that status. And yet Usman doesn’t sound like he’s even considering “Chaos” for his end-of-year return.

“I should be ready to go by November,” Usman told ESPN through his manager, Ali Abdelaziz. “Whoever Dana White says is next. He’s the boss. If Askren looks good and that’s who the UFC wants, he’s next.”

Usman and Abdelaziz have a long and messy history with Covington, which includes protracted Twitter feuds and buffet-line brawls. In fact, “Marty from Nebraska” has already threatened to keep “Chaos” from the welterweight title by fighting Ben Askren instead.

Naturally, that would require “Funky” to get past Jorge Masvidal at the upcoming UFC 239 pay-per-view (PPV) event next month in Las Vegas, Nevada, a pivotal welterweight showdown that could also vault “Gamebred” to the front of the line.

“They’re going to wait and see what happens in my fight, and if my fight goes well, and I cut a mean promo, my fight with Marty makes a whole lot more sense than Colby vs. Marty,” Askren told MMA Junkie. “Because Colby is trying the fake MAGA bullshit, but there’s no real heat between Colby and Marty. That’s not genuine. Whereas, for some reason, Marty really doesn’t like me. And so I think it would make a lot of sense. So yes, I think they are waiting 12 more days, they want to see what happens, and then they’ll make the call after that.”

Stay tuned folks, still lots of pieces to this 170-pound puzzle.

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