Stories by Albert Akota
Nigerian fighter, Kamaru Usman, has successfully defended his UFC welterweight title following his victory yesterday over his American opponent, Colby Covington.
Usman brutally stopped Covington with 50 seconds left in the fifth round at UFC 245 with a spectacular finish in what many have termed a grudge match.
After starting not too convincingly, Usman closed out in thrilling fashion, knocking down the challenger twice with precise punches and then finishing him on the ground.
Covington and Usman started with two busy rounds of striking in which the challenger appeared to be landing more blows, but Covington poked Usman in the eye during the third.
Usman responded by bloodying Covington in an impressive third-round flurry, and Covington subsequently told his corner that he thought his jaw was broken.
Usman took control from there, gradually finishing Covington in his first defence of the belt he took from Tyron Woodley earlier this year
“This one is not just for me,” Usman said. “This is for the whole entire world.”
These are indeed good times for top Nigerians in combat sports as Usman’s latest success is coming barely a week after another countryman Anthony Joshua reclaimed his world title; defeating Andy Ruiz in South Africa.
Interestingly, in the build-up to yesterday’s bout, Covington had made a sensational claim that Usman is not a Nigerian since he was born in Dallas, and set off for college in Nebraska.
“That’s why he (Usman) got the name ‘Marty Fakenewsman’ because everything he says is all lies.
He’s out here claiming to be the first Nigerian-born, African champion. He was born in Dallas. He went to college in Nebraska.
He was wiping the mats at the Olympic training centre in Colorado, and now he lives in Boca Raton (Fla.). There ain’t no Nigerian nightmares in Boca. The only things in Boca are early bird specials.” he told Bloody Elbow
Despite what Covington says, it is on record that Usman was born in Nigeria, with his family moving to the United States when Kamaru was eight years old.