After a heated buildup and a compelling fight, Nigeria’s Kamaru Usman beats United State’s Colby Covington to retain is still the UFC welterweight champion.
With the clock winding down in their UFC 245 main event Saturday night, Usman (16-1 MMA, 11-0 UFC) finished former interim champ Colby Covington at 4:10 of Round 5 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
As Covington (15-2 MMA, 10-2 UFC) walked out to Kurt Angle’s WWE theme song, he was met with boos and middle fingers from the crowd, although the controversial competitor also had a noticeable share of supporters. A calm, cool and collected Usman made the walk second, draped in the Nigerian flag.
When it came time to fight, the two combatants, who did not touch gloves at the outset, delivered. Known for their wrestling abilities, not one takedown attempt was tried. Covington set a frenetic pace in the first, while Usman was more calculated with his strikes.
After three rounds of back-and-forth face-punching, Covington informed his corner he thought he broke his jaw. Upon replay, a hard straight right was likely the culprit.
Fighting through the pain in the fourth round, Covington showed tremendous heart. He stunned Usman on multiple occasions and dug deep to return to his first-round pacing.
With the fight being relatively close, there was no consensus leader entering the fifth. It could have been anyone’s fight. Midway through the round, Usman showed championship mettle and began to land some of his hardest punches of the fight.