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Report: Usman-Covington title fight in jeopardy, ‘other options being explored’ for UFC 244

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MMA-UFC-SIN-FIGHT-NIGHT ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images

UPDATE: Looks like welterweight contender Jorge Masvidal is now in the running for the next shot at champion Kamaru Usman — full details HERE.

Considering the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight division has four available title contenders, all worthy of a crack at the 170-pound crown, it’s nothing short of amazing at how long it takes to book an actual title fight.

An issue that predates (and has continued with) “The Nigerian Nightmare.”

Kamaru Usman was expected to make his first title defense against Colby Covington at the upcoming UFC 244 pay-per-view (PPV) event in New York, which was kind of a no-brainer after all the animosity they had built up over the past year.

Don’t scoop up those tickets just yet.

“The Kamaru Usman vs. Colby Covington title fight is far from done,” ESPN reporter Ariel Helwani wrote on Twitter. “In fact, negotiations have hit a snag and UFC is now looking at other options, sources say. Those options include a different welterweight title fight and-or a different main event.”

Usman (15-1) hasn’t competed since dethroning Tyron Woodley at UFC 235 earlier this year in Las Vegas, thanks to an injury timeout that seemed to stretch on forever. In his absence, Covington (15-1) accepted a Robbie Lawler fight on ESPN and scored a dominant unanimous decision win over the “Ruthless” veteran.

“The making of this fight has taken many twists and turns over the past few days, so there’s no telling if they end up with it,” Helwani said. “But right now, it’s not in good standing and other options are being explored. Developing.”

It’s hard to imagine a welterweight title fight without Covington, who has more than earned his spot. Perhaps an interim strap will be introduced at UFC 244 (along with this guy), or the promotion will simply table this fight for a later date.

Stay tuned.