UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman has opened a new chapter in his rivalry with fellow UFC fighter Colby Covington. He currently routinely hits the like button on Colby's sister Candace's Instagram posts.
Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington's hatred towards each other is no secret. The pair have exchanged social media barbs ever since their rise to title contention, culminating in one of the greatest title fights that resulted in a fifth-round TKO win for Usman. However, the social feud has only intensified since the UFC 245 showdown.
Colby Covington has campaigned for a rematch ever since. Kamaru Usman's attempt to get into Covington's head by liking his sister's social media posts is the latest chapter in the heated rivalry.
Kamaru Usman is slated to defend his welterweight title against No.4 ranked Jorge Masvidal at UFC 261 in April 2021. The fight is a rematch of their first meeting at UFC 251 in July 2020, which Usman won by unanimous decision.
The fight against Masvidal favors Kamaru Usman in stylistic terms, and he is expected to win in the rematch. The marketability and competitiveness of the fight between Usman and Covington nearly assure the latter as the next challenger to Usman's title.
Michael Bisping shares his thoughts on Kamaru Usman's attempts to wind up Colby Covington
On a recent episode of the Michael Bisping Podcast, former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping shared his thoughts on Kamaru Usman's troll job of Colby Covington.
While relating the incident to others in MMA history, Bisping said that although it isn't appropriate to go after a rival's family, Usman liking social media posts was still within the permissible limits of mind games.
"When do you overstep the mark with the trash talk?... Big time. Somebody talks about your wife like that, of course. There's certain things you talk about... You talk about me, you talk about my fighting, you talk about me personally all day long. You shouldn't (talk about someone's wife/sister/family members). Usman's being okay though. It's a bit of fun. He hasn't said anything bad, he's not being dishonorable, he is not doing anything to make his sister feel bad. So it's not too bad."
However, going beyond the opponent's personal sphere and dragging family members, nationalities, and other aspects for promoting fights is a questionable practice that needs to be given serious thought.