Many fans were conflicted over the judging for Kamaru Usman vs. Colby Covington, as one judge scored the bout 3-1 in favor of Covington heading into the fifth round. The other two judges scored the bout 2-2 and 3-1 in favor of Usman.
Fortunately for Usman, though, the fight didn’t go to the judges, as the defending UFC welterweight champ left no doubt that he was the better man by finishing Covington via TKO in the fifth and final round.
While Usman vs. Covington was undoubtedly a highly competitive and entertaining fight, former UFC welterweight title challenger Stephen Thompson believes Usman was in control of the action and landed the much harder shots throughout the first four rounds.
“I thought it was a great fight,” Thompson said in a recent appearance on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show on Monday, per The Body Lock MMA’s Abhinav Kini. “Kamaru Usman is a great champion. Actually, I was surprised the judges had it as close as it was. From what I saw [of the scorecards], the last round was the deciding factor of who was going to win the fight.
“One judge had him [Covington] winning three rounds. I didn’t see that at all. I had him winning the first round and Kamaru Usman winning the rest.
“I thought he landed the more powerful shots. I think he landed more,” Thompson added. “Colby was throwing a lot, but a lot of those were missing or glancing. They weren’t clean shots. Kamaru Usman definitely kept his calm. Everybody thought he was going to go out there and be emotional. That’s how a champion should fight. How he performed Saturday was just epic, amazing. Kept his cool, stayed focused, kept to his game plan, threw a lot of body shots that slowed him down.
“Which I didn’t even think about — because he’s so shredded, you wouldn’t think his body would be a weak point for Colby. And him being a wrestler, using his core a lot for wrestling, you’d think it’d be more conditioned than it was, but those body shots were definitely taking its toll on Covington for sure.”
Covington, who suffered a broken jaw in the third round, labelled Marc Goddard a ‘fake’ referee and says the fight was stopped too early.