Kamaru Usman earned his second title defense over Colby Covington after five hard-fought rounds this past weekend (Sat., Nov. 6, 2021) at UFC 268, defeating “Chaos” via unanimous decision to retain his Welterweight title (see it again here).
Now that he is up 2-0 on “Chaos,” it’s easy to assume that their rivalry is done for good. But, if Covington can work his way up to another shot at the title, “The Nigerian Nightmare” is open to the possibility of a third fight between them.
“That guy’s tough,” Usman said during the post-fight presser (via MMA Fighting). “He’ll tune up a lot of guys in the division. We’ll see. It’s up to him. If he’s willing to do the work and get back up here and if I’m still here, then we’ll make it happen.”
Despite their bitterness toward each other, the two did have a moment immediately after the fight, shaking hands and sharing some words of respect inside the Octagon. Even though it was short-lived (see why here), there is no denying the two men respect one another.
In fact, Usman acknowledged Covington for pushing him to greater heights. And while he isn’t comparing himself to the late Muhammad Ali, he says having someone like Covington to push him is similar to how Joe Frazier did Ali during their rivalry.
“No disappointment. This guy’s tough as nails. This guy’s very, very tough,” said Usman about not getting the finish. “Let’s be honest, [Muhammad] Ali needed a [Joe] Frazier. All these guys, you can be the great one but there’s always going to be that one guy that’s going to be able to push you and he is that guy.
“As much of him outside the Octagon that most people don’t like, myself included, you have to respect him as a competitor,” he concluded.
Anyone think a third fight between these two competitors will happen one day, with or without the title on the line?
For complete UFC 268 results and coverage click here.