Colby Covington thinks Kamaru Usman would 'rather retire' than give him a rematch

Kamaru Usman (left); Colby Covington (right)
Kamaru Usman (left); Colby Covington (right)
Johny Payne

Colby Covington thinks Kamaru Usman would choose to retire rather than give 'Chaos' a rematch.

The first fight between Colby Covington and Kamaru Usman saw the latter beat Covington via fifth-round TKO. Currently, Usman is coming off one of the most spectacular wins of his pro MMA career, having secured a second-round KO win over Jorge Masvidal at UFC 261 on April 24th, 2021.

In an episode of MMA Fighting’s What the Heck, Colby Covington opened up on multiple topics. One of the questions posed by the show’s host, Mike Heck, to Covington was regarding the rumored face-off he was supposed to have at UFC 261.

Heading into UFC 261, many believed the UFC would have Colby Covington face-off with the UFC 261 main event winner. This would be a throwback to the UFC’s old days when the next number-one contender would be brought into the octagon to face-off with a title fight winner to promote their next fight.

However, following Kamaru Usman’s second-round KO win over Jorge Masvidal in the welterweight title fight that headlined UFC 261, Colby Covington wasn’t brought into the octagon to face off with Usman. Mike Heck asked Covington about the rumored face-off that didn’t materialize, in response to which Covington stated –

“We didn’t see that because Marty (Kamaru Usman) didn’t want it. And, just like he doesn’t want this fight. He does not want round two. If I was the easy pick, Mike, he would’ve come after me to rematch me right away. There’s a reason he took the easy payday with that fragile dude, Judas Masvidal (Jorge Masvidal), you know. He knew it was an easy fight. The guy has got almost 20 losses on his record. He’s a journeyman, and Marty knew that.”
“So, Marty’s been in there with me. He knows how tough I am. He knows I took multiple rounds off him, concussed him, wobbled him, almost had him finished if he didn’t take a timeout and have to get a breather. So, he knows how tough I am. And he’s refusing to fight me. He doesn’t want anything to do with me. He’d rather retire, honestly, Mike, than get round two with me locked in that octagon.”

Additionally, upon being asked whether he thinks the rematch between him and Kamaru Usman will come to fruition, Colby Covington said –

“I don’t know. I hope so. I want it. There’s nothing more that I want. I want to rewrite my wrongs. I want to prove to the world that I’m a better fighter than him. And I want to prove to the world that I am the greatest pound-for-pound fighter in the world right now. So, I hope it happens. If it doesn’t happen, it’ll only be because of him that he doesn’t want to fight. He might ‘walk away from the sport’ or, you know, ‘I need more time with my daughter’, or this and that. So, you know, I hope it happens, but we’ll have to see.” (*Video courtesy: MMA Fighting; H/T Sportskeeda for the transcription)

Colby Covington referenced Kamaru Usman’s recent comments about possibly walking away from the sport and wanting to spend more time with his family. In a nutshell, Covington insinuated that although he’s more than willing to rematch Usman, 'The Nigerian Nightmare' might not be too keen.

Colby Covington is riding high on the momentum of a huge win over archrival Tyron Woodley:

Kamaru Usman (left); Colby Covington (right)
Kamaru Usman (left); Colby Covington (right)

Colby Covington fought UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman at UFC 245 in December 2019, with Usman winning the fight via fifth-round TKO. The fight was marred by controversy, as Colby Covington alleged that referee Marc Goddard unfairly paused the action and gave Usman a chance to recover when Covington purportedly had him hurt.

Covington also accused Goddard of stopping the fight prematurely when Kamaru Usman was attacking 'Chaos' with ground strikes. Goddard waved off the fight after Usman landed a few ground strikes after knocking down Covington in round five, thereby awarding Usman the TKO win.

Following the fight, Colby Covington competed just once, securing a dominant fifth-round TKO win over archrival and former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley at UFC Fight Night: Covington vs. Woodley in September 2020. Covington is expected to face Kamaru Usman for the latter’s UFC welterweight title in a rematch later this year.

Edited by Avinash Tewari
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