Kamaru Usman could only praise his rival in Colby Covington following UFC 268.
The pair fought in a back-and-forth war in the UFC 268 headliner last night in New York’s Madison Square Garden. This time, it appeared to be close to ending in the second round as Usman dropped Covington twice with big shots.
However, “Chaos” managed to survive and get back into the fight as he hurt Usman a few times later on. However, Usman still did enough to come away with the victory as all three judges scored it in his favor for the unanimous decision win.
Covington received plaudits following their first fight, and it was even more so the case last night after how he bounced back from two big knockdowns.
Usman was the among the many giving him props as well.
“As a competitor I respect him – that’s the next best guy in the division,” Usman said at the UFC 268 post-fight press conference. “… It didn’t surprise me [that he came back]. He’s a great competitor. I know this, we both know that.
“… No disappointment [that I didn’t finish him]. This guy’s tough as nails. He’s very, very tough. Let’s be honest — (Muhammad) Ali needed a Frazier. All these guys. You can be the great one, but there’s always going to be the one guy that can push you. He is that guy. As much of him outside the Octagon as most people don’t like, myself included, you have to respect him as a competitor.”
Usman Not Ruling Out Trilogy
To his part, Covington will likely not be giving up on the welterweight title anytime soon and has already outlined his desire to face Usman a third time.
It will be tough to make it happen, but Usman didn’t rule it out.
“I don’t know,” Usman said. “That guy’s tough. I think he’ll tune up a lot of guys in the division so we’ll see, it’s up to him. If he’s willing to do the work and get back up here, and I’m still here, we’ll make it happen.”