UFC welterweight No. 1 contender Colby Covington had two chances to dethrone reigning 170-pound champion Kamaru Usman, but came up empty in both fights. “Chaos” was stopped in the fifth round of their UFC 245 headliner back in late 2019, then dropped a unanimous decision to the “Nigerian Nightmare” in their UFC 268 rematch last November.
Now they just need to fight another five times to settle their score.
“I’m a better fighter than him, [but] we’re so evenly matched that it’s a fight that needs to play out over a championship series — a best-of-seven,” Covington told MMA Fighting. “That makes sense to do because it’s a such a close fight on paper. We have so many similar attributes in MMA, with our game plans, and our styles. I think if we fought seven times, I beat him four [times]. He knows deep down inside of his heart that he hasn’t shown he’s the better fighter. I beat him in both fights, in multiple rounds.”
I’m sure Covington, who turns 34 in February, isn’t the only top contender who favors a best-of-seven series, popular in sports like MLB and NBA. But I don’t think the promotion would be able to sell a third fight between Covington and Usman, let alone seven. And by that logic, UFC would also have to worry about home field advantage.
“He’s gotten out to a lucky lead these first two,” Covington continued. “He’s had judges on his side. He’s had refs on his side. He cheated the whole time, I didn’t cheat one time. I’m not a cheater. I’m not a coward like him, and there’s no pride in Dana saying that [I’m the second best welterweight]. I will be the undisputed champion and the long run is gonna tell the truth about who is the better fighter. He’s either gonna retire because he got lucky and got out of my way, or he’s gonna stay around and I will beat his ass.”
I guess a best-of-seven is better than a best-of-100.