When it came to the grudge match atop the UFC 268 card in New York City on Saturday, there wasn’t much left to be said.
Kamaru Usman was the dominant champion. Colby Covington his perfect foil, a villainous heel persona bringing out the best in the champ in their first meeting back in 2019.
The rematch, nearly two years later? After a more subdued build in the lead-up to UFC 268, it was simply time to fight.
Colby Covington walked out to WWE Superstar Kurt Angle’s theme song, which is always accompanied by “You suck!” chants, and Covington was not immune to that as the crowd joined in. Usman walked out with his coaches behind him and his parents cage side. If there was a bigger stage on Saturday night nobody on the planet saw it.
It took five rounds before the fate of the UFC’s welterweight championship revealed itself. Colby had his moments employing an attack that included the uppercut which he was able to land on the champion multiple times. Usman meanwhile used a very accurate and tough jab to keep “Chaos” at bay.
For most of the fight Usman did his best to bait Covington into coming forward so he could counter and Colby obliged quite a few times. Usman was even able to drop Covington a couple of times early in the fight but the finish would never materialize.
Covington did attempt a few takedowns and almost got at least two (although Daniel Cormier and Din Thomas would argue with anyone that Colby landed those two), but he was never able to officially get the champ down.
Going into the fifth round Covington almost certainly needed a finish, and although he had his moments in the last round that finish never came to fruition. After the last horn sounded, the two men met in the middle of the octagon and buried the hatchet, showing each other respect.
Official Result: Kamaru Usman def. Colby Covington by Unanimous Decision (48-47, 48-47, 49-46) – for the UFC welterweight championship