After dethroning Tyron Woodley at UFC 235, Usman’s first title defense came nine months later against Covington. In a hard-fought war that nearly went the five-round distance, “The Nigerian Nightmare” ensured the belt wouldn’t be changing hands by finishing “Chaos” with less than a minute of the headlining bout remaining.
Despite giving Usman, who has since defended his belt against Gilbert Burns and twice versus Jorge Masvidal, his toughest test as champion to date, Covington has opened as a sizeable underdog for their rematch later this year.
Standing as a +230 challenger, the oddsmakers essentially give the former interim champ just a 27 percent chance of victory when the pair run it back. When asked during an appearance on Submission Radio whether he has a chip on his shoulder as the underdog, Covington revealed his disgust at the odds and branded those responsible for them as “losers.”
“Absolutely. And I know I am the underdog. The oddsmakers, they’re fools, too. They’re all losers. These guys have never worked hard in their life. They don’t know what it’s like to go earn something, so they want to peg him as a 2.5 to 1 favorite, a 3 to 1 favorite, it’s a joke, man. It’s a mockery of the sport.”
Covington went on to suggest that Usman’s victories over “little lightweights” were not impressive. The 33-year-old added that the champ is following his path, something the oddsmakers will apparently see when the two 170-pound stars go toe-to-toe inside the Octagon again.
“But they don’t know the sport. They’re watching him beat these little lightweights, these little guys that he’s supposed to beat, these guys that I’ve already beaten years ago, he’s following in my footsteps. If I make a sandwich, he’s gonna make the sandwich the same way. And they think he’s a god now. ‘He’s the pound-for-pound #1, he’s knocking people out,’ blah, blah, blah. OK, we’ll see.”
Earlier this week, ESPN MMA’s Brett Okamoto revealed that, per Dana White, Usman will defend his welterweight gold against Covington for the second time at UFC 268 in November. The exact date and location are yet to be confirmed, but the UFC is reportedly targeting a return to the prestigious Madison Square Garden for the event.
Do you think Colby Covington can be victorious against Kamaru Usman at the second time of asking?