Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Weighing up a Kamaru Usman-Colby Covington rematch after UFC 245

By Alistair Hendrie

Moments before Kamaru Usman became the first man to knock out Colby Covington on Saturday in round five of their UFC 245 welterweight title contest, the outcome was well in the balance. Two judges had it 3-1 either way, while the third judge had it a draw. However, with a minute and a half remaining, Usman sent Covington crashing to the mat with a one-two and forced the stoppage with unanswered ground and pound. Now, though, the fine margins of the result plus the rivalry between the pair have led to calls for a rematch.

You have to feel Covington deserves a second chance, whatever you think about his taunting of just about every fighter on the roster, his bragging of weekends away with models and his labelling Brazil “a dump” after dismantling Demian Maia in 2017. The American protested the stoppage on Saturday, claiming referee Marc Goddard “robbed me of a fair fight.” He gave Usman his toughest fight yet, meeting the champion in the middle of the Octagon with a snapping jab and pesky hits to the body. Let’s also commend Covington on how he soldiered on with a broken nose.

Indeed, the two are beautifully matched and this weekend’s bout was so thrilling that a second meeting should be a possibility. The UFC are renowned for hosting title rematches too, such as Stipe Miocic-Daniel Cormier and Joanna Jedrzejczyk-Rose Namajunas. Plus, rematches create a narrative, help fans become invested and define fighters’ careers.

Read the full article at Fighters Only

Check out Alistair Hendrie’s Kindle book, Fight Game: The Untold Story of Women’s MMA in Britain, featuring insight from Rosi Sexton, Joanne Calderwood and more