Back in Dec. 2019, Usman defended his gold against Covington. The title bout headlined UFC 245 inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Both men went back-and-forth in an instant classic but it was Usman who scored the fifth-round TKO victory.
Kamaru Usman Praises Colby Covington
Usman appeared on the JRE MMA Show. During his appearance, the UFC welterweight king admitted that Covington made him question if he was winning rounds for the first time in his career (h/t Bloody Elbow).
“I knew it was close because for the first time ever I asked my coaches, ‘did I win that round?’ I’ve never in my career done that,” Usman told Joe Rogan on the Joe Rogan Experience. “I’m the type of guy, even when I was wrestling, I’m the type of wrestler that likes to run up the scoreboard. I don’t like to leave any doubt that I won that round. I’m going to dominate that round. I’m going to make sure I won. So in my head I know I won, I don’t need to ask. For the first time in my career I went back [to my corner] and asked, ‘did I win that round? Did I win that round?’… I always knew I was going to finish that fight.”
Usman went on to say that he simply has to give Covington his due for making the fight tough.
“He really showed how good he is. I give respect where respect is due. I’m no hater. I know this kid can fight. I know he is good. I know he is tough. And I know he is a competitor,” he continued. “I’ve always known that he was a competitor. He was going to come out and try to compete. Mentally, I think I’m just on a different level than these guys. Just because everything that I’ve been through, that I’ve done in my life has shaped me into the man that I am.”