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Usman refutes Covington’s claim that UFC threatened to strip him: ‘How they gonna take the belt?’

UFC 261: Usman v Masvidal 2 Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

Current UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman is fighting Colby Covington at UFC 268 to prove he is still a better fighter. Despite what Covington may have said about UFC pressuring Usman into the rematch “Nigerian Nightmare” is adamant that he is fighting Covington again just to beat him up a second time.

Covington, who has been trying to lock down a reboot with Usman since their first meeting at UFC 245 back in 2019, claimed earlier this week that UFC threatened to strip Usman if the champion did not accept another fight with “Chaos.” While that seems wildly inaccurate Usman still felt obligated to step inside of the Octagon with Covington once more.

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BLOCKBUSTER WELTERWEIGHT REMATCH! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Sat., Aug. 20, 2022, for the first time in more than five years, headlined by a blockbuster Welterweight championship bout that will see Kamaru Usman run it back with No. 2-ranked contender, Leon Edwards. In UFC 278’s pay-per-view (PPV) co-main event, No. 4-seeded Middleweight contender, Paulo Costa, aims to spoil the return of former 185-pound champion, Luke Rockhold. And last but not least, former Featherweight champion and all-time great, Jose Aldo, returns to Bantamweight action, too!

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“How they gonna take the belt? I think I’m the only champ who fought two times already this year. I’m not sure,” said Usman during a recent conversation with Daniel Cormier. “But I believe I’m the only champ. It’s gonna be three in a calendar year. What champ’s really doing that? I chose to take this fight because…there’s something you feel when you get into a certain fight to where you lose yourself in the fight, that you’re just having fun. And it was something in that fight to where I was having fun. I’m smiling. I was never tired at all. I’m smiling. I’m laughing at him. I’m talking to him. I’m calling him— ‘Quit tryin’ to be a bitch. Quit cryin’’. I’m talking to him in there the whole time.”

In case you forgot the first title fight between Usman and Covington turned out to be one of the greatest championship fights in UFC history. Usman eventually finished Covington in the fifth and final round, but “Chaos” gave the champ his toughest fight to date. Because the first meeting was so legendary Usman is extremely excited to run things back.

“And there’s something about when I got done with [the fight], I was like, ‘Wow, that was fun.’ I got hit a lot. I know I can’t get in these many fights that often because, of course, I gotta protect my health. But that was fun. I would love to do that one more time.

“And he seems to be that guy that’s talking up a good game that he’s good enough to try to push me there again. So I wanna see it. I wanna see it.”

Covington, who is currently the No. 1-ranked contender at 170 pounds, is coming off a TKO victory over Tyron Woodley back in Sept. 2020. Usman, on the other hand, has racked off three-straight title defenses since his first fight with “Chaos” two years ago, including vicious knockout wins over Jorge Masvidal and Gilbert Burns.