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Covington blames former coaches for first loss to Usman: ‘Not everybody knows how to instruct fighters’

Colby Covington will say just about anything to save face and that includes throwing his old coaches under the bus for a previous loss to rival Kamaru Usman.

Leading into his rematch with Usman tomorrow night (Sat., Nov. 6, 2021) at UFC 268 live on ESPN+ PPV from inside Madison Square Garden in New York City, “Chaos” has been asked about his first meeting with the UFC welterweight champion back at UFC 245. The matchup is widely regarded as one of the best 170-pound title fights of all time, but it is one that Covington ended up losing via fifth-round TKO.

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CHAMPIONSHIP DOUBLEHEADER! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to the world famous Madison Square Garden in New York City with a compelling pair of world championship rematches on Sat., Nov. 6, 2021. Headlining UFC 268’s blockbuster pay-per-view (PPV) will be Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman as he looks to defend his title once again against arch enemy and No. 1-ranked contender, Colby Covington. The co-main event will see UFC women’s Strawweight queenpin, Rose Najamunas, aim to make it two in a row against former champion and No. 1-seeded contender, Zhang Weili.

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Covington, who is one of the most controversial fighters in MMA today, has discussed the loss on multiple occasions over the past few years and seems reluctant to acknowledge that Usman was the better man on that night. “Chaos” has denied getting his jaw broken during the fight, he’s called out Usman for “faking” low blows and eye pokes, and now he’s taking aim at his old coaching staff.

“If you go back and look at the first fight, the instructions that I was getting. They were telling me something that I do every single day. They were saying, ‘Colby, breathe.’ Dude, we breathe every single day, why are you telling me to breathe. I mean, everybody in this room knows how to breathe. Not everybody knows how to fight and how to instruct fighters with the right instructions,” Covington told media members earlier this week.

Since his first meeting with Usman the welterweight contender has switched up gyms and is now training at MMA Masters. Covington’s first fight under his new coaching staff came against Tyron Woodley in Sept. 2020. “Chaos” ended up smashing the former UFC champion via fifth-round TKO and believes his game has been taken to an entirely new level since changing teams.

“First thing that I changed, the biggest thing, is the people around me, the team that I have around me now; Daniel Valverde, my Judo and jiu-jitsu coach, my striking coach Cesar Carneiro, and my strength and conditioning coach Jonathan Lopez… I just have a new-found energy around me; people that actually, genuinely care about me, and they wanna see me win. They’re not just showing up to get paychecks and just work to throw me out there into the fire. They’ve actually been developing my skills and we’ve been growing as a fighter every single day. You’re gonna see new wrinkles in my game. We’ve updated the software. I’m gonna control, alt, delete Marty on Saturday night.”

Like him or not, Covington is one of the very best fighters in the sport today. If he has truly increased his fight IQ then there’s a chance he pulls off the upset and hands Usman his first Octagon loss this weekend at UFC 268. But if “Chaos” happens to fall to the undisputed champion again who will he blame then?

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 268 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPNEWS/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.