Appearing as a guest on a recent episode of the Full Send podcast, Usman was asked whether he believes fighting Covington was the toughest test of his career. In response, 'The Nigerian Nightmare' said:
"Yeah, I wanna say he was probably the most complete. He was the most complete because he can wrestle, he can strike, he has a good gas tank. Usually everybody else, I could kind of pinpoint something about them that's like... it might be a weakness that I can exploit and I can push for but, you know, he probably was the most complete."
Usman added that it was impossible for him not to develop respect for Covington, especially because they shared the octagon for almost fifty minutes and nearly ten rounds spanning two fights. Usman defended his welterweight throne against Covington once at UFC 245 and again at UFC 268.
Watch Kamaru Usman reflect upon his rivalry with Colby Covington:
After the final horn, the pair of bitter rivals finally shared an embrace as they seemingly agreed to let bygones be bygones. However, Covington immediately returned to his villainous persona, calling Usman a "cheating coward" during the post-fight press conference.
Meanwhile, Usman has always been respectful of Covington during his interviews. Prior to UFC 268, Usman revealed that he had his rival ranked somewhere in the top-15 of the greatest UFC welterweights of all time.
Kamaru Usman believes Colby Covington's character is good for business
Kamaru Usman has been on the receiving end of Colby Covington's tirades in recent years. But Usman doesn't appear to be affected by his antics as believes feuds are better when there's a villain. Usman explained:
"As much as people want to hate the guy, I mean, he's an excellent fighter," Kamaru Usman said of Colby Covington. "So I think he has that respect but, you know, you need someone who's going to be that guy. When you both be good guys and it's like, 'These two good guys are gonna fight.' You have a good fight, you have a good fight like Chandler and Gaethje. But when you have a good and a bad guy, it's better."