Back in December of 2019, Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington put on one of the best welterweight fights in the history of the UFC. Almost two years later, the pair is scheduled to face off once again per Brett Okamoto. This bout has been in the making ever since Usman “baptized” Jorge Masvidal in their rematch back in April 2021. Dana White called their first bout “One of the greatest fights I’ve ever seen” during that post-fight press conference.
UFC 245: Usman vs Covington
Back in 2019, tensions were high between new Champion Kamaru Usman and Former Interim Champion Colby Covington. Colby was fully enveloped in his ‘heel’ persona, calling the champion “Marty Fakenewsman” and throwing out insult after insult.
Come fight night, a match between two wrestlers that everyone expected to be boring turned into a total banger. Not a single takedown was attempted, but 755 strikes were thrown. The fight was stopped in the 5th round in a TKO victory for Usman, which Colby disputed immediately. Colby would later trash referee Marc Goddard on what he claims to be an early stoppage.
Before the stoppage, many believe the fight to have been very close. One judge had it 2-2 while the other two had it 3-1, but for different fighters. Verdict, dubbed “The Global Scoreboard” as it lets fans score the fights had it 3-1 for Covington round-wise, but 38.06-38.02 for Usman totals-wise.
Following their bout, Usman would go on to defend the belt three more times. Twice against Jorge Masvidal and once against his former teammate, Gilbert Burns. Many believe that Masvidal did not earn his second title shot as he lost all five rounds in their first bout and did not fight again afterward. It was that notion that heavily pushed a Covington rematch into play.
Though Colby only fought once after being defeated, being a fifth-round TKO of Former Champion Tyron Woodley, it was one more fight than Masvidal.
After said victory over Woodley and a phone call with President Donald Trump, Covington after Usman’s throat, which the champion had four words to reply. “I. Broke. Your. Face.”
Since their first bout, both fighters have changed gyms. Orginally at Sandford MMA, Usman left to join Trevor Wittman after being scheduled to face his teammate, Gilbert Burns. Covington was originally at America Top Team but was asked to leave for trash talking his teammates including Jorge “Street Judas” Masvidal, Dustin “Soyrier” Poirier, and Joanna Jedrzejczyk. He is now with MMA Masters and “Colby Covington Incorporated.”
UFC 268: Usman vs Covington 2
UFC 268 is scheduled for November 6th, 2021 and is rumored to take place at the Madison Square Garden in New York City. This card will follow the massive UFC 267 which is only a week before Usman and Covington will meet each other once again.