After Kamaru Usman successfully defended his welterweight belt for the first time with a fifth-round knockout of Colby ‘Chaos’ Covington in Saturday’s UFC 245 headliner, President Dana White sounded extremely bullish on booking Usman to make his next title defense against Jorge ‘Gamebred’ Masvidal.
The 32-year-old Usman broke Covington’s jaw with a counter right in the third round when the fight was basically even. You can see the punch that did the damage in the video below (H/T to @YotesGlendale):
It was a great card Saturday night at T-Mobile Center in Las Vegas, and the main event delivered way beyond anyone’s expectations. Usman and Covington both have wrestling bases, elite grappling skills and many (including This Guy) thought we could be in store for a boring wrestling/grappling match.
Instead, the thrilling headliner didn’t feature the first takedown attempt. For 24 minutes, we saw two warriors who absolutely hate each other basically stand and trade as if they were locked in a phone booth (do those even exist anymore?!).
Whatever the case, it was fireworks galore from start to finish. Covington told his corner his jaw was broken after Round 3, and White confirmed as much after the epic scrap.
Therefore, forget about Covington’s lame act and ass-kissing of the Trumps, in addition to all the other nonsense that’s come out of his mouth over the last two years. The dude showed the toughness and grit of a champion in Rounds 4 and 5, continuing to push the pace and never shying away from contact despite the painful injury that’ll have him eating and drinking out of a straw for weeks.
Going into the fifth and final round, one judge had it 3-1 in favor of Usman, another it knotted at 2-2 and the third judge had Covington ahead 3-1. I felt Covington was slightly leading the fifth until Usman dropped him with a straight right.
Covington recovered back to his feet, but not for long. Another right put him down and Usman pounced on his bitter rival, delivering hammer fists.
Covington was clearly hurt, but he seemed to be intelligently defending himself with 50 seconds remaining. However, referee Marc Goddard intervened and called the bout to a halt.
Was it an early stoppage? I thought so. Now was it getting extremely close? Sure! But with 50 seconds left in a title fight, I felt Covington should’ve been given a little more time.
It was clear as he immediately protested the stoppage that he wasn’t quite done. Then again, MMA officials have a tough job and they should err on the side of safety for the fighters.
Covington was furious. He didn’t stick around for an Octagon interview, sprinting out of the cage to the back less than a minute after the fight was stopped.
Covington let Goddard have it in a tweet within an hour or two of the fight ending:
Although Masvidal, the owner of the BMF belt after beating Nate Diaz by TKO (doctor stoppage) at UFC 244, isn’t interested in Usman’s belt and simply wants the best and most lucrative fights, it’s likely he faces Usman late in the spring or in the summer of 2020.
On that note, a pair of offshore books sent out opening odds for Usman-Masvidal.
On Sunday afternoon, BetOnline opened Usman (16-1 MMA, 11-0 UFC) as a -260 favorite vs. Masvidal, who is +200 on the comeback. The odds haven’t moved an inch since then.
On Monday afternoon at Bovada, the betting shop opened Usman as a -260 ‘chalk.’ ‘Gamebred’ is a +200 underdog at Bovada.
Just my two cents here: I’d be all over Masvidal as an underdog of +150 or better. The +175 or +200 prices are gifts!
White also expressed interest in booking Covington against former 170-pound champ, Tyron Woodley. Both are former American Top Team teammates who have been feuding for years, although White conceded that Covington’s broken jaw would “keep him out for a minute.”