UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman thinks Colby Covington overlooked him at their rematch in the UFC 268 main event.
Usman closed the door on his rivalry with Covington with a unanimous decision victory at UFC 268. It was a back-and-forth war from start to finish, but Usman had his way in the championship rounds and earned the win on the judges’ scorecards.
But Usman feels that Covington wasn’t completely prepared for the bout in the right way, and felt that the welterweight champion hadn’t made any strides since their first matchup. Usman believes this was a key reason for Covington’s downfall in the octagon.
Kamaru Usman defeated Colby Covington by unanimous decision at UFC 268
Usman detailed his thoughts on Covington’s approach at UFC 268 during a recent interview with Daniel Cormier.
“He went to a new team that was better strategically,” Usman said. “Like, you can tell that they did their due diligence and they were trying to set me up for something. They expected the old fighter, from fight one. So they planned for that fighter, and their strategy was for that fighter.”
“What they didn’t understand is that I was a completely different fighter. I know how to control range now,” Usman continued. “I know how to keep balance in my shots, and I know how to keep him away. So I think he was surprised once he got in there and I wasn’t that same guy.”
Usman’s latest win over Covington was his fifth successful title defense, since originally earning the belt over Tyron Woodley at UFC 235. He’s earned knockouts over Jorge Masvidal and Gilbert Burns during his title reign.
With the Covington rivalry behind him, at least for now, Usman awaits a new challenger to rise up the ranks of the welterweight division. A potential future matchup between Usman and Khamzat Chimaev could be on the horizon, but it’s unclear what the UFC brass has in mind for Usman’s next challenge in the cage.
How did you score the Kamaru Usman vs. Colby Covington rematch?