Behind The Tale Of The Tape: The Bad Blood Between Kamaru Usman, Colby Covington
Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington are looking to settle their bad blood.
On Saturday, November 6 in Madison Square Garden, Usman (19-1) and Covington (16-2) will face off again for the UFC welterweight title.
The last time these two fought was at UFC 245 on December 19, 2019 and the match was a classic.
Usman successfully defended his welterweight title against Covington by TKO in the fifth round. The fight was close and, by many accounts, each fighter won two rounds going into the final round to determine the winner.
Before their last fight, Covington made comments regarding Usman’s team and manager.
“Let’s be honest, I got a call from the President of the United States of America after the fight. What has Marty Fake Newsman ever got a call from, the chief tribe of Nigeria with smoke signals?”
Covington would comment on Usman’s long time coach Greg Robinson who died in September of 2018. Stating that Usman “gave Glenn a heart attack from all those years you were ducking me.”
He followed that with a cruder comment, claiming that Robinson would be “watching from hell on Dec. 14.” Usman did not take kindly to these comments he responded by breaking Covington’s jaw before his technical knockout win. Covington, however, denied his jaw was broken after that fight.
Covington will go into this fight as the controversial challenger.
He has made a name and reputation for himself for being a self-proclaimed “supervillain” of the UFC.
Outside the octagon, he has criticized the Black Lives Matter movement calling it a “sham” and called Lebron James a spineless coward in reference to his disgust of athletes who speak on social justice causes.
Following a victory in Sao Paulo against Damian Maia, he yelled: “Brazil you’re a dump! All you filthy animals suck!” He has also used vulgar language in claiming that he had sexual relations with fellow Polyana Viana. Viana adamantly denies the claims.
Aside from his tawdriness with the mic, Covington has done well in his UFC career.
He is a former All-American wrestler who started his career at Iowa University before transferring to Oregon State. Covington pairs his wrestling background with an aggressive striking style.
In a win against Robbie Lawler, he set the UFC record for most strikes thrown with 541 strikes. He is 16-2 with four knockouts. He recently fought former welterweight great Tyron Woodley. Using his all-out striking method and his superior ground game.
He dominated Woodley winning by TKO in the fifth round.
The “Nigerian Nightmare”
Usman is originally from Nigeria, but moved to Dallas, Texas when he was young.
He was a NCAA Division II Championship wrestler and 2012 Olympic hopeful.
He is 19-1 and currently has 18 straight wins.
Since beating Covington, he has defeated Gilbert Burns and Jorge Masvidal twice to retain his welterweight title.
His last fight against Burns and Masvidal resulted in turks and knockouts. He attacked him with powerfully accurate right-hand punches to the head, hard kicks to the shin and explosive takedowns to the mat.
Usman’s background may not be in striking, but the right jab he possesses is lethal as exhibited in his last fight
Punches like that are the reason why Usman has the most consecutive wins in the welterweight division with 14.
This contentious rematch will be one of the more exciting matchups in recent UFC History.
Both fighters have proven themselves to be the best in the welterweight division and both fighters clearly do not like each other.
Covington and Usman stand at 5’11 and 6’ foot 170 pounds, respectively. Both are in their prime, being in their early 30s.
Usman has the reach advantage of four inches and has a naturally bigger body. Usman is also the more technically accurate fighter of the two. His striking accuracy is 54% compared to Covington’s 38%.
In their last fight against each other, Usman landed 49 percent of his 360 strikes thrown. That’s dangerous considering the strong jab Usman has in his arsenal. That accuracy allowed him to connect on strikes.
What Covington may lack in skill and technique, he makes up for with endurance and volume.
Covington may not throw as accurate punches — on 395 strikes thrown he only connected on 36% — but he has a lethal punch and a strong jaw that allows him to take risks because of his constant attacking style.
A relatively even matchup of contrasting styles will make this a can’t miss fight. You can watch Usman versus Covington on Saturday, November 6 on ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET.