There was one thing missing from the aftermath of UFC 245: Colby Covington. Known for being one of the more verbose members on the UFC roster, the usually outspoken Covington went dark after losing to Usman in the main event. But before he did, he made sure to give referee Marc Goddard a piece of his mind immediately after the fight.
“Normally people do their fucking in the bedroom, not the octagon @marcgoddard_uk! I go in there to kill or be killed. You robbed me of that. You robbed the people of a fair fight. You should be ashamed of yourself. Fake nut shot. Fake eye poke. Fake stoppage. Fake ref. #ufc245,” Covington tweeted.
Since Covington re-emerged in 2020 and resumed doing media, he has reiterated his accusations against Usman at every turn. As the above tweet briefly addresses, Covington argues that the Nigerian American cheated during the fight by feigning reactions to fake fouls: a kick to the groin in the second round and an eye poke in the third.
He also held Goddard equally responsible for allowing Usman to shift the momentum with his alleged acting. Covington concluded by saying the fight ended with an early stoppage even though he was intelligently defending himself.
Kamaru Usman Provides In-Depth Retort To Covington’s Claims
Many people believe video evidence supports Covington’s complaints, and others find it to be inconclusive and/or inconsequential to the final outcome of the fight. During a UFC 268 media scrum, Usman was asked about Covington’s claims, and the champion did not seem to be bothered.
“It’s simple. It wasn’t a decision. I finished you,” Usman said of Covington. “I actually like the fact that he stuck with the excuses and he kept making the excuses because again, it made you guys all want to see that again, right? And so, yeah, he did a wonderful job there.”
At this point, Usman took the time to address each of Covington’s claims one by one.
“He’s saying, ‘Oh, it’s a fake eye poke. The masses watched you finger my eye.
He’s saying it wasn’t a nut shot and I got five minutes. It grazed my cup. That’s true. And of course, as a man, you know when your cup gets grazed, you anticipate what’s coming after that pain. And I was anticipating the pain. And after about 30 seconds—you guys can go back and watch the video—literally about 30 seconds, I’m like, ‘Yeah, that pain’s not coming. Let’s scrap. Let’s go. And we continued on.”
Usman would then turn the tables on Covington, pointing to a moment in the fight where he alleges it was Covington who was the one doing the acting
“And you saw the shot where I broke his jaw clean off, clean shot. He was holding his eye,” Usman said. “Did you guys see that? He was complaining to the ref that it was an eye poke. And even the commentators, DC was like, ‘That was a straight right hand right on the button.’ And he said it was his eye. So who’s actually claiming fouls here?”
“I Think I Broke My Jaw”
In a separate interview, Usman stayed on the offensive after countering Covington’s cheating accusations. He would then respond to Covington’s claim that his jaw was actually not broken, even though Covington could be heard telling his corner that he thought it was.
As recently as last month, Covington said that the “broken jaw story” was a fabrication that began circulating due to a bad Photoshop. Usman brought with him a theory for why Covington told his coaches between rounds that his jaw was broken.
“And then of course, he said that, ‘Oh, my jaw wasn’t broken. Then, you go to your corner and you told your corner, ‘Hey, my jaw’s broken’ because you wanted your coaches to potentially save you and stop the fight for you. And they didn’t so you had to continue fighting. And then, you got put on your ass twice and finished.”
Usman would conclude his retort by addressing Covington’s claim of an early stoppage as well as the criticisms he later made about his old gym, American Top Team.
“Then, you said, ‘No, the referee’s the one that helped you. That’s why.’ The referee didn’t put you on your ass twice. I did that,” Usman said. “And he knows exactly why. Then, after the fight, he goes to, ‘Oh, no, it was my team. It was the training environment that I was at. That’s why I lost.’
“Come on, man. As a man, you’ve seen other former champions that can’t accept a loss. You have to be able to accept that loss because that helps your growth. So if he can’t accept it, it might be a short night for him this Saturday.”
Hopefully, there will be no explanations or video analysis needed when this highly anticipated rematch goes down this Saturday at UFC 268. In the meantime, if you want to conduct your own investigation of the classic between Usman and Covington, which won MMA News’ 2019 Fight of the Year, you can do so below, courtesy of the UFC’s YouTube channel.