Covington has challenged for Usman’s gold on two occasions. In their first meeting, which took place at UFC 245 in December 2019, “Chaos” took the champ to the limit. Having won the 170-pound title with a win against Tyron Woodley nine months earlier, Usman was defending the belt for the first time. It’s arguable that he hasn’t faced a stiffer test since.
After four rounds of grueling action on the feet, most had the fight level heading into the fifth and final frame. Despite the former interim titleholder’s best efforts, it was Usman who secured a late TKO stoppage.
After seeing off the threat of Gilbert Burns and two challenges from Jorge Masvidal, Usman ran it back with Covington for his fifth title defense earlier this month. In the main event of UFC 268, “The Nigerian Nightmare” once again defeated the #1-ranked contender, this time on the judges’ scorecards.
Usman Can’t Pinpoint A Weakness In Covington’s Game
Having consistently admitted Covington’s ability and strengths inside the Octagon prior to their rematch, the champ has continued to do so in the aftermath of his latest defense and 15th straight UFC triumph.
During a recent appearance on the Full Send Podcast, Usman discussed where Covington ranks among the other contenders and fighters he’s traded leather with. According to the welterweight kingpin, the 33-year-old is the most well-rounded of them all.
“Yeah, I wanna say he was probably the most complete. He was the most complete because he can wrestle, he can strike, he has a good gas tank. Usually everybody else, I could kind of pinpoint something about them that’s like… it might be a weakness that I can exploit and I can push for but, you know, he probably was the most complete.” (h/t Sportskeeda)
Usman’s next step appears to be yet another rematch, this time with Leon Edwards. The Englishman had been set to meet Masvidal at UFC 269 next month. After “Gamebred” withdrew due to injury, “Rocky” announced his intention to wait for a title shot.
The champ has also made his desire to set-up a blockbuster crossover showdown with boxing’s pound-for-pound best Canelo Álvarez known, something Covington laughed off in a recent interview with MMA News. Whichever route he goes down, Usman will certainly be hoping to further cement his place in the GOAT conversation.
What should be next for Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington?