Usman Retains UFC Belt, Loses Daughter, States Respect For Covington

Usman Retains UFC Belt, Loses Daughter, States Respect For Covington

Nigeria’s Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC'S) welterweight champion, Usman Kamaru, who lost his daughter on the night, expressed lots of respect for his challenger, Colby Covington, who he described as a worthy opponent.

Megasportsarena.com reports that ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ referred to his opponent as the next best guy in the division, adding that Covington earned his respect after another five-round battle in the UFC 268 main event.

Even with Usman revealing his daughter’s death after securing the win, he now has two victories over Covington, having won the first fight by fifth-round TKO in December 2019, but this time the pair needed all 25 minutes to settle their feud.

Although Usman (20-1 MMA, 15-0 UFC) joked that he still believes Covington (16-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC) is rotten as a person, he admitted his rival has ability that he cannot deny and acknowledged that it is not yet time to relax.

The pair went tooth-and-nail again on Saturday, with Usman retaining his welterweight title by unanimous decision in the pay-per-view headliner of UFC 268.

Usman stressed that Covington is the second-best fighter at 170 pounds, and he thinks it’s important to have a rival to push him to his limits.

“As a competitor I respect him – that’s the next best guy in the division. This guy’s tough as nails. He’s very, very tough. Let’s be honest: (Muhammad) Ali needed a (Joe) or Frazier.

“All these guys. You can be the great one, but there’s always going to be the one guy that can push you. He is that guy.

“As much of him outside the octagon as most people don’t like, myself included, you have to respect him as a competitor,” Umsan posited.

Usman defeated Covington in the main event of UFC 268 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, USA to remain the UFC’s welterweight champion.

The heated rematch went the full five rounds before the judges declared Usman the winner by unanimous decision.

Covington’s implemented a new strategy in the second fight, integrating takedowns and a new pace from the last fight.

However, Usman stuffed every takedown attempt by Covington to keep his career takedown defense rating at 100%.

Both fighters traded punches as the fight went on with Usman stunning Covington with a right hook that dropped him to the canvas in the second round and the challenger firing back with some combinations of his own in the fourth.

Usman still was able to reign victorious by remaining calm and picking his shots, outlasting Covington’s late onslaught, but they both embraced after the fifth round split decision and the champion was full of sweet words for his rival.

Yahoo Sports’ combat columnist, Kevin Iole wrote in his report: “Well, this isn’t fake news: Usman is the best fighter in the world, and it’s not particularly close at this point.

“He survived a spirited upset bid from Covington to pull out a unanimous decision in the main event of UFC 268 and retain his welterweight title. Scores were 48-47 twice and 49-46. Yahoo Sports had it 48-46 for Usman.

“Usman’s power was a huge difference in the fight. Not only did he drop Covington twice with left hooks at the end of the second round, it was obvious that Covington fought more strategically than he had in their first fight at UFC 245 because he knew how hard Usman hit.”

With the win, Usman moved to 15-0 in the UFC, one win shy of Anderson Silva’s record for the longest win streak in the organization’s history. Despite the months of trash talk, both fighters showed mutual respect to each other after the fight.

Sadly, Usman is also in mourning, as he disclosed the death of his daughter, which caused him to be restrained in his celebrations and he declined to discuss what could be next for him in terms of opponents.

Usman, who has had a spectacular year with three title defenses over Covington, Jorge Masvidal and Gilbert Burns, retorted: “I need some time with my daughter.

“She passed out tonight (during my fight), so I don’t know. That lets me know that I have to give him some time. These are special to me.

“I need to make it memorable for her. I’ve been gone for almost 10 weeks, but I need to give her some time. I can’t even think about fighting right now.” Bimbo Adeola

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