After spending months on the sidelines, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman, finally made his first 170-pound title defense with a thrilling, “Fight of the Night” performance against bitter rival, Colby Covington, in the UFC 245 pay-per-view (PPV) main event.
Watch it again here.
With “Chaos” finally in the rear-view mirror and too injured to demand an immediate rematch, “The Nigerian Nightmare” will close the book on his Covington rivalry and look ahead to the next welterweight title contender, who could differ depending on who you ask.
“Man, there’s a lot of tough guys in the division,” Usman said after the fight. “I mean let’s be honest, if you’re talking about someone who’s deserving, Leon Edwards hasn’t lost since he fought me. He’s been finishing guys and he’s now found himself in the position I found myself in a little over a year ago.”
Edwards (18-3) is the winner of eight straight, including last July’s unanimous decision win over Rafael dos Anjos at UFC San Antonio. The only knock against “Rocky” is that he’s finished just two opponents since falling to Usman roughly four years back.
And No. 3-ranked contender, Jorge Masvidal, has knocked out three in a row.
“It’s massive,” White said at the post-fight press conference (watch it here). “The Masvidal fight versus Usman, it’s a big deal. He fought (Nate) Diaz for the ‘BMF’ belt and now to fight for the actual title against the guy who’s tough as nails, it’s fun.”
Masvidal (35-13) has only won three in a row but certainly made the most of those three victories. “Gamebred” sent Darren Till to middleweight, put Ben Askren on the path to retirement, and beat Nate Diaz at his own “BMF” game.
Sounds like UFC matchmakers have a tough decision to make.