Kamaru Usman defended his UFC title in the early hours of Sunday morning with a fifth round stoppage of outspoken challenger Colby Covington.
Usman and Covington traded blow-for-blow for 20 plus minutes without a proper takedown attempt in sight, the pair are decorated collegiate level wrestlers but decided to slugged it out on the feet with some crisp, precise technical stand up on display.
It's very likely Covington sustained a broken jaw in the second round after Usman landed flush with a right that stunned the challenger. The former division 1 All-American informed his corner between rounds that his jaw was broken but on he went.
The Las Vegas crowd were left in 'awe' after 170lbs champion finished his bitter rival with a flush right, followed up with a barrage of hammer fist strikes. Covington covered up and looked to take a couple of punches to the back of the head as Marc Goddard jumped in to call a halt to the proceedings.
WOW! KAMARU USMAN! WHAT A PERFORMANCE!
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) December 15, 2019
The challenger wasn't happy with the stoppage and promptly exited the arena, taking to his Instagram later in the evening to criticise the English official. Goddard temporarily stopped the fight in the second round, claiming Covington struck Usman with a low-blow, the replay showed it was a legitimate shot to the body.
“Just a kid from Oregon chasing the American Dream, working hard and earning everything in my life the hard way since day one. I put myself out there in front of the world to kill or be killed. Marc Godard robbed me tonight with piss poor officiating. He let my opponent fake injuries for extra time and stopped the fight early. Just like America, my will and spirit can never be broken. Speed bumps can’t slow me down. You people ain’t seen nothing yet."
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Just a kid from Oregon chasing the American Dream. Working hard and earning everything in my life the hard way since day one. I put myself out there in front of the world to kill or be killed. Marc Godard robbed me tonight with piss poor officiating. He let my opponent fake injuries for extra time and stopped the fight early. Just like America, my will and spirit can never be broken. Speed bumps can’t slow me down. You people ain’t seen nothing yet. #ufc245
It's very likely Covington sustained a broken jaw in the second round after Usman landed flush with a right that stunned the challenger. The division one All-American informed his corner thats his jaw broken between rounds but on he went.
At the time of the stoppage, one judge had it in favour of Covington, scoring it three rounds to one. It was that close, the fight could have been scored wither way.
The "Nigerian Nightmare" expressed his delight after finishing his adversary, claiming the victory was for everyone around the world.
"This one’s not just for me; this one’s for the whole entire world right now."
16, 111 spectators witnessed the thrilling card in T-Mobile arena as the Nigerian born champion added a rare compliment to his bitter foe.
“He was tough as nails, he caught me a few times. My mind is stronger than all these guys,” Usman claimed following the final round stoppage.
Full fight card results ⬇️
- (c) Kamaru Usman def. Colby Covington via fifth-round TKO (4:10) - UFC Welterweight Championship - FOTN
- Alexander Volkanovski def. (c) Max Holloway via UD - UFC Men’s Featherweight Championship
- (c) Amanda Nunes def. Germaine de Randamie via UD - UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship
- Marlon Moraes def. Jose Aldo via split decision
- Petr Yan def. Urijah Faber via third-round KO (0:43) - POTN
- Geoff Neal def. Mike Perry via first-round TKO (1:30)
- Irene Aldana def. Ketlen Vieira via first-round KO (4:51) - POTN
- Omari Akhmedov def. Ian Heinisch via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
- Matt Brown def. Ben Saunders via second-round KO (4:55)
- Chase Hooper def. Daniel Teymur via first-round TKO (4:34)
- Brandon Moreno def. Kai Kara-France via UD (29-28 x2, 30-27)
- Jessica Eye def. Viviane Araujo via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
- Punahele Soriano def. Oskar Piechota via first-round KO (3:17)