Covington Says He’s in Usman’s Head
If it wasn’t clear already, the rivalry between current UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and former interim champion Colby Covington is deeply personal.
New footage of an altercation between the two at the Palms in Las Vegas, hours following Usman winning the UFC 170-pound title from Tyron Woodley at UFC 235, was recently released. The footage shows the two nearly coming to blows, with Usman’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, even getting involved.
The bout between Usman and Covington is confirmed to be the next welterweight title fight, but the UFC has not announced when such a fight would take place. What’s certain to Covington, however, is he’s winning the mind game battle.
I don’t think — I know I’m living rent-free [in Usman’s head]. Just the reaction I saw of him the day after his fight with Woodley, that showed me everything I need to know. I am in his head and he’s going to fight me [emotionally] and I’m going to knock him out.
“He [is] going to be throwing wild, he’s going to be trying reckless takedowns, and he’s going to gas out,” Covington said. “People don’t realize how good I am and how good my cardio is until you’re in that Octagon with me, and he’s going to find out the hard way. He’s going to get his head dunked underwater in the 10-foot part of the pool. We’re not going to be in the kiddie pool like he’s used to, so his time is coming to an end. It’s just a matter of time.”
The rivalry even extends to before UFC 235, as Covington went on a tirade against the UFC after he was stripped of the interim title in favor of a Woodley-Usman matchup (Covington had been unavailable due to surgery). Covington crashed Usman’s open workout during fight week and the two had to be separated by security as Usman walked out of the Octagon with his newly-won UFC championship.
But what grinds Usman’s gears the most is the comments on immigrants from Covington, who is a major supporter of current U.S. President Donald Trump. Usman, a Nigerian, discussed the matter in a recent appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience, stating he can’t stand to be in the same place as Covington and that Covington “would feel the wrath of every immigrant” when the two faced off.
Covington claims, however, that he has asked Usman for a fight even before the welterweight title situation, and that Usman has turned him down multiple times.
“I was begging to fight him earlier in my career,” Covington said. “You can go and ask [American Top Team owner] Dan Lambert right now. That’s not a lie. We asked to fight him when Glenn Robinson was his manager [at the Blackzilians] and he turned the fight down three or four times, and this was right after he won The Ultimate Fighter, the ATT vs. Blackzilians [season], so I was already looking at him. I’m like, ‘Let’s fight, man. You beat all these guys from my gym, but you didn’t beat the best welterweight from our gym, and I am the best welterweight from our gym.’
“We’ve been destined to clash for a long time. The guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about, man. He’s out here trying to make this a political battle. Like, what are you talking about? He’s talking about the wrath of every immigrant he’s going to beat up on me. Come on, bro. You don’t even know the difference between illegal immigrants and legal immigrants. I knew he was dumb, but I didn’t know he was that dumb.”
Original Story: MMA Fighting