Kamaru Usman beat Colby Covington and retained his UFC welterweight title. He would bring down the challenger 50 seconds before the end of the final round and seal the win via TKO.
During one exchange, Kamaru (16-1 MMA, 11-0 UFC) responded with a strong jab that sent the wobbling American on the canvas. After that, it was a routine, as he didn’t miss a chance to finish the unpleasant opponent who created a lot of troubles for him.
“My mind is stronger than anyone in this division,” he said after the fight. “I was telling in the last month that I am going to punish him for 24 minutes and finish him in the last. This one is not just for me, this one is for the whole entire world right now.”
KAMARU USMAN!!! AND STILL!!!👑
— The Champion Picks (@ChampionPicks) December 15, 2019
Covington was not happy at all that the judge in the octagon stopped the fight, but it was his second trip to the floor in a short span, and that probably made an impact on the ref’s decision.
It was by far one of the most entertaining bouts of the season. The two fighters traded punches throughout the entire event, but eventually, it was the champ who broke the rival’s will in the last round. Yet, the development didn’t indicate such an ending. Usman ,himself, admitted that when Dana White asked him whether he had some concerns about the result in coming into the fifth round.
“Yes, a little bit,” he said.
And really, according to Joe Rogan, the judges were split on the scoreboards. In the moment of the knockout, the result was even.
Colby (15-2 MMA, 10-2 UFC) was much better in the second round, and he got out of each exchange as a winner. Even when Usman succeeded in connecting, Covington would reply instantly. The fans had a chance to enjoy and saw a few superb hits on both sides, but the majority of them were Colby’s.
Usman got away by faking a below the belt hit midway through the second when Colby started to take over. It made the crowd pretty angry, but the champion got what he wanted, catching the breath and continuing the fight.
The champion threw few strong punches in the third, but Colby reacted with a high kick, which pushed back Kamaru. Yet he didn’t use that moment because he poked the rival in the eye with his finger, and the referee stopped the fight for a moment. Usman finished this round with a ferocious right hand that hit Colby’s chin. During the pause, Covington stated that he thinks his jaw is broken.
“I wasn’t aware of that,” said the champ. “I was catching him with some left hooks.”
Colby Covington complained that Kamaru Usman poked his eyes, but Usman actually landed a clean punch 😂😂😂
— MMA India (@MMAIndiaShow) December 15, 2019
As time went by, the challenger was slowing down. But his uppercuts and jabs were presenting a problem for Kamaru, who didn’t have a solution for them but didn’t back out either. In the end, he managed to outpower his opponent who was struggling with fatigue and a broken jaw.
This is his 16th win, and the first title defense after taking the belt against Tyron Woodley at UFC 235. There aren’t any plans for the future at the moment. However, it is obvious that at some point, he would have to fight Covington again.
Although he lost this one, Colby was the first rival who managed to record that many clean hits against Usman and he proved himself worthy of a rematch sometime in the future. Of course, with the growing competition in this division, that will have to wait. But if he continues to fight like this, it is almost inevitable.
This fight was a crown jewel of the UFC 245 in which we had two more title fights. Amanda Nunes retained her bantamweight belt by defeating Germaine De Randamie, while Alexander Volkanovski defeated Max Holloway and took the featherweight title fro one of the best ever in this category.
Earlier tonight, Petr Yan demolished Urijah Faber.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.