This past Saturday in the main event of UFC 268, we saw a rematch for the welterweight title. The champion Kamaru Usman (20-1) defended his title for the second time against Colby Covington (16-3). Their first fight came back at UFC 245 in December of 2019.
That fight nearly two years ago was as close as it could get. Through four rounds, the judges scored the fight 3-1 Usman, 2-2, and 3-1 Covington. It was all going to come down to the fifth round and Usman won it emphatically stopping Covington before the round was over.
Nearly two years later, the two met again at UFC 268. The thing everyone, including myself, had been noting leading up to the fight is the improvements we’ve seen from Kamaru Usman. He continues to get better and better while Covington’s inactivity left a lot of question marks about what to expect.
In the early parts of the fight, Usman was dominating while Covington was hesitant. In the second round, Usman nearly finished Covington again after dropping him twice. However, Covington turned the tide in the third round at UFC 268.
After he survived the second, Covington started getting more and more aggressive. With being aggressive, he was able to make the fight very close and even wobbled Usman on the feet. However, despite making the fight very close, he couldn’t do enough to get the decision at UFC 268.
What’s next after UFC 268?
Say what you want about Colby Covington, but he’s clearly the second best welterweight on the planet. Kamaru Usman has ran through all of his competition and Covington has fought him very close for nearly ten rounds. In the ten rounds they’ve fought, I give Usman six to Covington’s four.
That’s how close these two are. However, Usman is just a bit better and that is why he’s the UFC welterweight champion. With that, it’s time for Covington to reset and take on different challenges that can get him back to the top. He was asked about what’s next and there’s only one name on his mind.
At the UFC 268 post-fight press conference, Covington made it clear that he wants Jorge Masvidal (35-15) next. Masvidal is currently scheduled to face Leon Edwards at UFC 269 next month. Regardless of the result next month, I think the fight with Covington makes all the sense in the world.
Masvidal will not get a title shot if he beats Edwards next month. He’s lost twice to Usman including getting knocked out cold. if Masvidal loses to Edwards next month, he’s still got star power and that alone still makes the Covington fight interesting.
Win or lose, I think the UFC books Covington against Masvidal next. An under the radar pick could be former title challenger Gilbert Burns (20-4). However, there’s whispers that the UFC might have other plans for Durinho at the moment.