Kamaru Usman Explains Why He Was Forced to Take the Colby Covington Fight

Published 10/24/2021, 3:19 PM EDT
NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 01: UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman poses on stage during the UFC 245 press conference at the Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden on November 1, 2019 in New York, New York. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


Kamaru Usman will enter the octagon at UFC 268 to defend his UFC welterweight title against Colby Covington.

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This fight will be a rematch of their UFC 245 bout, which Usman won via TKO in the fifth round. Ever since their first fight, fans have been eagerly waiting for a rematch. Both fighters were a part of a brutal fight and left everyone impressed and also earned the ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus.

However, many believe that Leon Edwards should’ve fought for the title. Leon has been undefeated in his last 10 fights, with his last defeat coming against the current champ in 2015. Usman was asked about how he felt about Covington getting a shot over Edwards. Usman said that it’s sad.

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But also added, “Someone has to keep it real with this guy. At the end of the day, let’s be honest here. We know this is a business. It’s a partnership between us and the promotion. It’s a partnership. You gotta give them something to work with. You gotta give them something to sell. And they have thrown you bone after bone after bone after bone. Based on that last performance, you can’t go out there and do that with Nate Diaz.”

According to Usman, Edwards getting rocked against Diaz in the final minute of the fight after dominating for 24 minutes led to Covington replacing him. He said, “For a while, he did ok. But then, all of a sudden, the 25th minute, you s**t the bed. You can’t do that! That’s what forced the promotion’s hand and my hand because this is business now to say, ‘You know what, let’s go have fun with this dance partner who’s gonna run his mouth.”

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Kamaru Usman dismisses Colby Covington’s claims

Usman vs. Covington rematch is booked for UFC 268. However, according to the challenger, the rematch is only happening because the UFC forced Usman’s hand. If Usman refused the fight, they would have stripped him of the title.

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In an interview with ESPA MMA, Colby said, “It’s been tough. It wasn’t supposed to happen. They didn’t want it to happen. His manager, they were refusing. They didn’t want his fight, man. The only reason they have to take it, the UFC gave them no choice. They said, hey you fight this fight or we just strip you.

‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ in the interview with Daniel Cormier dismissed those claims, but said that he really enjoyed his first fight against Covington and wanted to do it one more time.

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Whatever the reason behind the rematch, one thing is for sure, the fight is going to be a banger. ‘Chaos will have a lot to prove after getting stopped in the first fight. He will want to prove that he can back his talk of being better than Usman. The champ, on the other hand, would look to continue his dominant run as a champion.

What do you think about Edwards not getting a title shot? Let us know your thoughts!

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Arunaditya Aima

239 articles

Arunaditya is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. Having completed his Post Graduate Diploma in Multimedia Journalism from IIJNM, Arunaditya aspires to be an important voice in the world of MMA and interview the likes of Jon Jones, Conor McGregor, Amanda Nunes, and other such superstars of the sport. He has followed the sport for over a decade and is an ardent fan of Georges St-Pierre, who he believes is the greatest of all time.

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