Having dealt with plenty of trash talk from Colby Covington, and a tough battle against him at UFC 245, welterweight champ Kamaru Usman is happy to be past the chaos.
Las Vegas, NV — After months of build-up between Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington, the payoff came Saturday night at UFC 245. A spirited war from both men, with scores looking wildly different heading into the fifth and final round. Three rounds to welterweight champ Usman. Three to brash challenger Covington. A split.
Luckily the scorecards were not needed. Instead, ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ earned a fifth round TKO. That win likely won’t silence the trash-talking persona that Covington has crafted, stepping on all sorts of toes in the process. But it will at least give Usman some closure.
“It’s good to move past all of that,” Usman told media outlets including Cageside Press post-fight. “I’m going to be honest, this is what kept me sane all six, seven months, when I knew this fight was going to happen. This is what kept me sane, this moment right here, after the fight. That’s what I looked forward to. This is the addictive moment, this is what keeps me doing this.”
“There was a lot. There was a lot emotionally, a lot that he said,” continued Usman. “This one’s for the world. This one is for the people of Brazil. This one is for my former manager. This one is for my family. This one’s for my manager, and my recent manager. This one is for everybody.”
“When you push hate, when you push separation, love and unity does win sometimes. And tonight it won,” Usman added rather poetically.
With Jorge Masvidal waiting in the wings, it seems Usman could be lined up for a big showdown with ‘Gamebred’ in 2020. The champ doesn’t seem to be feeling that, however, answering ‘who?’ when Masivdal’s name was brought up.
“There’s a lot of tough guys in the division. A lot of tough guys,” he pointed out. “Let’s be honest. If you’re talking about someone who’s deserving, Leon Edwards hasn’t lost since he fought me. He’s been finishing guys. And he’s now found himself in a position that I found myself in a little over a year ago.”
That position included a difficulty securing opponents. “Everyone knew that I was one of the toughest guys out there. They didn’t want to gamble and take that risk on me,” said Usman. “So, right now I’m sitting above looking at all these guys. They’re kind of all in that pool, very tightly contested. They just need to break out. I’m waiting for whoever Dana and the organization feel is the next guy for me.”
Edwards or Masvidal – who do you see being next for Kamaru Usman? Sound off below, and watch the UFC 245 post-fight press conference with the Nigerian Nightmare above!