UFC 268: Usman vs. Covington 2 took place Nov. 6 at Madison Square Garden in New York. UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman (20-1) locked horns with Colby Covington (16-3) in a rematch in UFC 268’s main event. The fight aired live on ESPN+ pay-per-view.
Catch the video highlights below.
For more on Usman vs. Covington 2, check out the live blog by MMA Fighting’s Jed Meshew.
Round 1: Usman comes out in orthodox and Covington in southpaw. Immediate low kick attempt from Covington early. It misses and Usman settles in to hold the center of the cage. Early jab from Usman lands. That’s his go to weapon.
Covington getting backed up early and looking for big swings. He also is changing stances. Wild swings from Covington miss by a mile and Usman looking extremely composed.
Covington gets deep on a naked single-leg shot and drives through but Usman grabs a chest wrap and rolls through it to end up in sprawl. Covington backs out and they return to the feet but now Usman knows the wrestling is coming.
Covington swinging left hands when Usman steps in with the jab and he’s landed it a couple times. Usman really taking his time and working behind the jab. Covington still switching stances, possibly with the intent to land calf kicks to the lead leg. Usman lands a decent right hand in a clash and he clearly has the power advantage.
Covington charges in and Usman ducks under, grabs the hips and gets an easy takedown. Covington rolls to turtle and immediately stands though and we’re back to range.
Usman pressuring well and Covington definitely more wild but it’s landing him some shots. Usman has yet to find the timing thus far but when he does, Covington could be screwed doing this. A clash of bodies leaves Covington with a cut under an eye, couldn’t see what landed. This is so composed from Usman.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Usman.
Round 2: Starting to understand Usman’s confidence. Competitive round but Usman has to feel entirely safe in there. He has a big power advantage and frankly, Covington is looking a little wary.
Covington smiling in there to start this round though but he’s eating some shots when they are getting in close together. More importantly, this is a very slow pace. Covington relies on pace to win and right now he’s done nothing to tire Usman.
A clinch initiated from Covington but it’s Usman who lands some good body shots there and Covington is on the back foot. He’s throwing but he looks cowed already. Usman entirely confident. He has no fear. Target practice.
Usman isn’t landing devastating shots here but he’s consistently popping the jab and he’s landing some decent shots on top of that while Covington has done very little. Covington barges in and gets a clinch, putting Usman’s back on the fence but Usman has layers of defense here and he’s making Covington pay for this attempt. Usman forces a break.
Now Usman is opening up with kicks, probably because he doesn’t even really have to concern himself with the wrestling either. Usman lands a big combo that gets Covington covering up. Covington looks shook in there. Entirely different than he has ever looked.
Covington steps in and a left hook from Usman floors him! Covington is badly hurt but he’s up and moving and gets jawed again! Usman looking for the finish but Covington shoots and he’s able to hold onto a leg until the horn!
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-8 Usman, 20-17 Usman overall.
Round 3: Respect to Covington as he looks to have cleared the cobwebs to start the third but he’s in dire straits here. He has offered nothing substantive to the champion and it’s not like he has a puncher’s chance to turn the tide. Unless Covington can start getting takedowns, this is only a matter of time for the champion to get the finish.
Usman being very patient to start the round and working behind the jab. Soooo disciplined. That’s his greatest strength. Covington lands good combo actually, his best of the fight but Usman takes it without issue.
Covington is going to have to be comfortable getting hit to have any chance in this fight and he clearly is anything but that. He’s in full retreat, high guard, and back foot. Usman is waiting for him to charge in where he can then clock him. Covington obliges him with that but tries for a takedown. It’s stuffed and Usman gets front headlock and hammers some shots in. When they stand, Covington is now showing some real damage on his face.
Covington is starting to try and push more of a pace here but it’s getting him dinged up for his efforts. Still, maybe his best round thus far and he’s backing Usman up now at least. An exchange from the two gets Covington to land a good shot but he just cannot hurt Usman. No power. And that is not a problem for Usman at all.
Short time and Covington lands a big combo, including one shot that looked like it got Usman’s attention. He keeps on him and ducks under for a takedown that he secures but Usman stands instantly.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Covington
Round 4: Honestly, scoring that last round for Covington was probably a pity round but it was his best effort by far, throwing caution to the wind got him real offense and Usman was content to take his time.
The booth informs us that Covington is not being credited with a takedown which is nonsense as Daniel Cormier explains. Meanwhile, a big exchange is going on in the center of the cage with Covington starting to really sling shots, throwing in bunches which is getting him good results.
Usman firing off single shots on the outside and this is Covington’s path back into the bout. Big combo from Covington gets Usman backing up! When Covington throws 4-5-6 punch combos, he’s landing and Usman isn’t finding the counters right now. He is sniping with that jab though.
Covington comes in again for an exchange and he’s trying to dirty this up but eats a big shot for his trouble. Now this is the fight we were hoping for. Usman, still sharp with the jab though. Counter left hook from Usman gets Covington backing up. Perhaps Covington needs to go for an elbow so he can hurt him.
Covington lands a great kick to the body that drops Usman’s hands! Usman in retreat for a moment and Covington chasing him. These two starting to exchange and I think the body kicks from Covington have made a big difference here! Covington in on a takedown but Usman is so good at stopping this. Covington with the clinch and trying to make Usman work as the round closes. Usman lands a decent shot on the break but Covington wobbles Usman at the buzzer!
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Covington, 38-37 overall Usman overall.
Round 5: It’s very possible, perhaps even likely, that Covington needs a finish here but we’ve got it. it so that Covington can get a draw with a win in this round.
Slow start to the fourth but begins heating up after a minute with Usman starting to touch Covington up with the jab. Covington throwing everything he has on his punches though and this is starting to give Usman issues. His’ snapped Usman’s head back with uppercuts multiple times.
Covington shoots a takedown attempt but fails again. Usman with the jab, Covington with combinations. Covington needs to sell out here and Usman needs to continue this kind of rangy kickboxing.
Covington’s face is pouring blood but he’s actually doing way better at slipping the big shots of Usman now. Usman slips off an exchange and Covington rushes him, trying to get a takedown. He can’t but he’s got Usman against the fence and Covington is chipping away.
Usman is finally able to separate and ew’ve got a minute left. Could be anybody’s round and Covington swings wildly, with Usman still popping the jab and using his footwork. Big right hand stings Covington and the challenger is in retreat. As Covington steps in, a finger finds his eye and the referee pauses the action. Covington takes some time and Miragliotta brings the doctor in to check him out. they resume with 40 seconds left.
Kicks from Covington and he needs to do something to have any chance. Instead he eats a head kick from the champion. Exchange with short time and then the two exchange some words in the center and it appears that Covington gives him some respect. Squashing beef.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Usman, 48-46 Usman overall.
Official Decision: Kamaru Usman defeats Colby Covington by unanimous decision (48-47, 48-7, 49-46) to retain the UFC welterweight championship.