Nigerian Nightmare Usman Kamaru beat Colby Covington to Retain His UFC Welterweight Belt.
The highly-anticipated fight between Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington has officially ended. The Nigerian Nightmare beat Covington via TKO in the last-minute of the fifth round to end a dramatic fight and settle their grudge rivalry.
KAMARU USMAN scored a dramatic fifth round knockout against his bitter rival Colby Covington to retain the UFC welterweight title.
The grudge match went down to the wire as they duo stood and traded punches for the entire fight, with Covington suffering a broken jaw in the third round.
Colby Covington was sent flying by Kamaru UsmanCredit: AP:Associated Press
Usman celebrates as Covington is sprawled on the octagon floor with blood all over his faceCredit: AP:Associated Press
Kamaru Usman defeated rival Colby Covington at UFC 245
But a determined Usman pushed the pace in the fifth and twice dropped his nemesis with two devastating right hands, with the champion forcing the finish with 50 seconds remaining after relentless hammer fists.
After the last-gasp KO, Usman said: “This one is not just for me it's for the whole entire world right now.
“I was catching him with some left hooks but I was kind of overreaching with them.
“Sometimes I don't stay with my striking long enough.
“Guys I'm the best in the world.
“It felt good, he was tough, he was stubborn he caught me a few times but my mind is tough, I'm tougher than all these guys.”
The narrative going into the welterweight clash was who would win the grappling battle between the divisions two best wrestlers.
Kamaru Usman broke Covington's jaw before finishing his rival in the last round of their title fight
But either respecting each other's skills too much, or wanting to settle their feud with the traditional way, the whole fight was competed on the feet.
Take nothing away from Covington, whose stock only grew in defeat. He undoubtedly proved his toughness after suffering a broken jaw and lasting till the end while also taking an incredible amount of damage to the body.
Interestingly enough, the scorecards were 2-2 for one judge before the fifth round while the other two gave it 3-1 to Usman and 3-1 to Covington respectively (the latter of which was heavily criticized by Joe Rogan on commentary).
Usman would possibly have just edged it out had he gone to a decision, but he made the right call and finished it and chose not to leave it in the hands of the judges. Given that it was a battle between two world-class wrestlers, you would imagine there would be a lot of takedown attempts.
There were zero takedown attempts, in what comes off as the most shocking statistic from the fight. It was entirely on the feet and Covington chose the volume approach while Usman was all about the power, constantly landing front kicks to the body and closed in on his jaw once he seemingly recognized the damage that he had caused.
Covington protested the stoppage but there was nothing unfair about it. It was well-timed and Covington was knocked down twice before being finished. As for what's next for Usman, it'll be interesting to see.
Jorge Masvidal should ideally be the next man in line, but Gamebred seems more interested in the biggest paycheque possible over a title shot. Leon Edwards is set to face Tyron Woodley in early 2020 so if the Britishman wins that, we could see him get a title shot. Either way, the future of the Welterweight division is exciting.
Usman's steady composure soon went out the window as he reigned down desperate hammers fists until the fight was waved off and Covington's brave challenge came to and end.
Covington, bloodied and cut, was distraught after the loss, as Usman celebrated with his family and team-mates.
The judges would have been split, with each fighter receiving a verdict while another official had the pair drawing going into the final round,
Big congratulations to Usman!