Usman, the reigning champion who has won his first 10 UFC appearances and defends his title first time, faces Covington, a former interim UFC welterweight chamion who has won seven straight fights, in the main event.
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Round 1: Referee Marc Goddard will officiate the evening’s main event. Usman misses with a punch then slips off of a high kick attempt, but he recovers quickly. Nice straight right by the champion to back Covington up. Covington not connecting, but his output is high in the early going. Body shot and a right hook connects for Covington, Usman counters with a jab that lands clean down the middle. Inside leg kick b Usman. Both men throwing a lot, Usman lands a right hook. Colby’s straight left connects. Right hand by Usman. Usman just a little sharper with his punches right now. Covington smiles as he slips an Usman combination. Big left hand by Covington bounces off of Usman’s head. Covington is really cranking up the pressure now, throwing a high knee and a leg kick. Usman has the better jab, but Covington is happy to absorb it and wade in to wing punches of his own. Two minutes remaining and it feels like they’ve thrown enough for a five-rounder already. Covington rarely throwing just one strike, everything is a combination. Overhand left by Covington scores, Usman answers with a left of his own. Usman with a couple of solid punches to the body. The raw striking numbers are favoring Covington in round one. Jumping knee is blocked, Usman answers with a short punch to the body. Covington again finds a home for his left hand. He pumps his jab in Usman’s face. Inside leg kick by Covington, he goes to the body and avoids Usman’s counters.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Covington.
Round 2: Usman trusting his jab to keep Covington at bay. Jab up top by Covington and Usman cracks him with a body shot. Usman’s straight right has been effective. He pops Covington with a series of jabs. Jab by Covington gets in. Another right by Usman scores. Usman is landing clean with counters, but Covington is right in the pocket with him. Left hand by Covington, then a counter right, he’s definitely doing damage. Usman not giving an inch either though. They are standing in the pocket and just trading loud, smacking jabs, head movement has gone out the window apparently. Triple jab by Covington. He then walks right into Usman’s jab. Body shot by Usman. Covington with a hop kick that catches Usman low and we have a pause in the action. Upon replay, it looks like the kick might have been a clean one to the body. The action resumes and the war of jabs continues. Covington looks to be just a little quicker to the punch. He hasn’t been able to avoid Usman’s right hand though. Four straight jabs land for Covington as Usman chews up his mid-section. Usman has Covington retreating with another right, then a body shot. Right hand square to the chin, then another body shot for Usman. These two are going at it, good luck scoring this one.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Usman. Overall, 19-19.
Round 3: Covington probing with his jab. Usman drives a kick front kick into his stomach. Covington being more patient than before. Usman lands a counter right, body kick, jab. Right hand by Usman and another body kick, but Covington presses forward with his jab. He throws a punch at Usman’s body now. Right hand to the body for Covington, much lower pace round for both men. Usman throws a right to the body. Covington having some issues closing the distance this round. 1-1-2 by Covington partially connects. Usman with the uppercut to the body. Straight right by Usman again and he’s given Covington a bloody lip. Usman going head-body, straight right. He bounces a left hook off Covington’s head. Covington throws a head kick that seems to rattle Usman. Usman complaining about a poke to the eye. Hard to see at first, but on the replay Covington clearly jams his finger on there as he lunged forward. Physician says Usman’s eye is fine and they’re back at it. Usman the aggressor now. 1-2 up top, front kick to the body for Usman. 1-2 by Usman and now Covington is complaining about a poke. The round ends.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Usman. Overall, 29-28 Usman.
Round 4: Between rounds, Covington is saying his jaw is broken. He comes out for the fourth. Straight left by Covington, then a couple more, they’re stating to swing. Covington looking like he knows he could be down on the cards. Body punch by Usman, then a front kick. Jab by Usman. Nice straight left by Covington. Usman has really zeroed in with his jabs and body shots. Counter-left by Covington, but he overextends and eats another hard right. Uppercut by Covington throws Usman’s head back. Both men just standing in the center of the Octagon and striking. Covington gets blasted by a jab, walks right through it and hits Usman with an uppercut. Jab, punch to the body, straight right, Usman is pushing the pace. Covington hits him with a kick to the body. Left-right-left by Covington, he’s working hard to stay in this, but Usman is in a rhythm. Covington complains about an eye poke again. Him and Usman are bickering. Goddard gives a brief lecture to both men before telling them to continue. Usman stops a Superman punch with a front kick, Covington presses forward and lands straight punches. They need to be separated going into round five. Incredibly tough round to score.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Usman. Overall, 39-37 Usman.
Round 5: High kick by Usman misses and Covington calmly steps in with a leg kick. Covington lands a four-punch combination while slipping an Usman punch. 1-2 by Covington. Straight left down the middle connects for Covington. He catches Usman with it two more times and has the clear advantage through the first two minutes of round five. 1-2 by Usman is successful. Covington is landing his left hand at will. Body shot by Usman. Glancing left hand by Usman, Covington seems to be taking the lead here until Usman blasts him with a right hand. Covington right in there with him, but he takes a left hook right to that injured jaw. Straight right puts Covington on his back, he springs right back up! Another right hand knocks Covington down. Usman on top looking to finish with hammer fists. Goddard waves it off and Covington isn’t happy.
Official result: Kamaru Usman def. Colby Covington via TKO (punches) at 4:10 of round five