The fabled rivalry between Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington reportedly sold nearly 700,000 pay-per-views for UFC 268. Widely regarded as one of the most entertaining beefs in mixed martial arts today, their feud is largely marketed by the gimmick Covington continues to perform.
According to many, 'Chaos' is a different person when the cameras are not around. The personality he maintains for the public is a schtick to keep himself promotable.
In a recent appearance on the Full Send Podcast, Kamaru Usman discussed the first proper conversation he had with Colby Covington. He cemented the idea further that 'Chaos' could possibly just be putting on a show for the media.
Kamaru Usman talked about the time he and his team came across Colby Covington at an airport after attending a UFC fight. They were both still relatively new in the promotion and Covington had just started pushing his 'heel' personal online. Usman said in the podcast that he was ready for a scuffle as he walked up to Covington, while his Blackzillians teammates Tyrone Spong and Jason Jackson were ready to record the confrontation.
However, much to Kamaru Usman's surprise, Covington was completely cordial in his conduct:
"So I go up to him and my team is recording it, like a jacka**... So I walk up to him, and I was like, let me not come out too aggressive but at the same time let him know that I am serious. So I go and I sit in front of him, and I was like, 'What's going on, man?' I give him the tough look. And he was so nice, that I felt like a jacka** right after the break. I was like 'Damn, I was trying to be mean and he's trying to be nice.' I was all ready for action, but he was so nice, that I was like, 'Damn, I'm kind of a jacka** here.'"
However, Colby Covington changed his tone not too long afterwards. He posted a tweet promising to 'b*tch slap' Kamaru Usman next time the latter tried to be 'friendly' with him at an airport.
Here's a video of the incident as narrated by Kamaru Usman:
Kamaru Usman on Colby Covington's trash-talking: "It sold the fight, but it didn't mean sh*t to me"
When asked if Colby Covington's comments about his father ahead of UFC 268 'boiled his blood', Kamaru Usman said he chooses to keep emotions at bay when he steps inside the octagon.
He believes Covington's actions were good for the marketability of the fight, but they did not get under his skin:
"I used to be sensitive about it. But then I was like, 'Nah, that's just stupid'... I can't be emotional out there. I have to be as calm as I can, so I can think as much as I want to and outclass him. He thought he did, but it didn't mean sh*t to me. It was good though, it sold the fight. But it didn't mean sh*t to me."
Watch the full podcast below: