Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington went to war for the second time at UFC 268 in a five-round fight that wasn’t as close or dramatic as the first, but still solidified both men as the best in their division and absolute warriors (watch highlights here). The result was a unanimous decision win for Usman, with the judges seeing it 48–47, 48–47, and 49–46 for the champ.
Covington’s sister Candace voiced what many other “Chaos” fans were thinking after the loss (via BJPenn.com): “It doesn’t feel like we lost… everyone KNOWS and WATCHED who the real Champ is!!”
But hey, at least Covington earned a consolation prize: “I am so SOOO Proud of my brother tonight AND for breaking Usman’s zero takedown Stat!” Candace added in another post. “Now who’s the KING?”
Unfortunately for Team Colby, Covington did not, in fact, break Usman’s ridiculous zero takedown streak, which sat at a wild 0/20 over 14 UFC fights coming into UFC 268. According to the official numbers, Covington went 0/11 during their rematch, bringing Usman up to a wild 0/31.
Covington came close at the end of the third round ... so close, in fact, that freestyle wrestling champion Daniel Cormier called out UFC’s stats team on the pay-per-view (PPV) broadcast when he learned the takedown didn’t count.
But, the decision stood and will continue to stand, according to TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter.
Per UFC officials, the official reason for why Covington was not credited with a takedown against Usman:— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) November 9, 2021
"MMA takedowns require a fighter to attain a controlling ground position and Covington did not. This differs compared to how takedowns are scored in wrestling matches."
While Covington did manage to drag Usman onto his hands and knees for a moment, UFC decided control wasn’t established. To take it further, let’s look at UFC’s official takedown guidelines: “A takedown is awarded when a fighter deliberately grapples his opponent to the ground and establishes an advantageous position for an appreciable amount of time.”
With that in mind, take a look at the takedown attempt for yourself:
Let’s look at it through the prisms of advantageous positions and appreciable time. Technically, Covington had Usman’s back there. Pretty advantageous. As for appreciable amount of time, Usman was on the ground for between two and four seconds, depending on whether you restart the clock after Usman gets dragged back to his knees on his first escape attempt. Appreciable? Eh ...
Going back to UFC’s statement to TSN, was control established? That’s more black and white: no, it wasn’t. But, if you want to talk about that blatant fence grab from the champ that probably prevented Covington from pulling Usman back down, we’re right there with you on that.
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