Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington had a heated rivalry in the lead up to their UFC 245 fight. The two traded shot at one another on social media and in interviews and it appeared any respect between the two was gone.
Yet, following UFC 245, where Usman won by fifth-round TKO, the welterweight champion praised Covington. He also said that fight was the first in his career where he had to ask his corner if he was winning the fight.
“I knew it was close because for the first time ever I asked my coaches, ‘did I win that round?’ I’ve never in my career done that. “I’m the type of guy, even when I was wrestling, I’m the type of wrestler that likes to run up the scoreboard,” Kamaru Usman said on the Joe Rogan Experience. “I don’t like to leave any doubt that I won that round. I’m going to dominate that round. I’m going to make sure I won. So in my head I know I won, I don’t need to ask. For the first time in my career I went back [to my corner] and asked, ‘did I win that round? Did I win that round?’… I always knew I was going to finish that fight.
“He really showed how good he is. I give respect where respect is due, I’m no hater. I know this kid can fight, I know he is good, I know he is tough,” Usman continued. “And I know he is a competitor. I’ve always known that he was a competitor. He was going to come out and try to compete. Mentally, I think I’m just on a different level than these guys. Just because everything that I’ve been through, that I’ve done in my life has shaped me into the man that I am.”
It was an incredible fight that many were split on who was winning before the stoppage. And, Usman believes he will fight “Chaos” again in the future once Covington’s jaw heals.
“At the end of the day, to make fantastic fights you have to have the right dance partner. He was the right dance partner. To be honest with you, if I didn’t take too much out of him because each fight takes something out of you internally. If I didn’t take too much from him, I think I might see him again, to be honest. It’s clear that we are the two best guys in the division. I look forward to seeing him again,” Kamaru Usman concluded.
Currently, neither men are booked in a fight, but all signs point to Usman defending his belt against Jorge Masvidal.
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This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 1/29/2020.