UFC 245 has its main event.
ESPN’s Ariel Helwani reports that the welterweight title fight between Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington, previously targeted for November’s UFC 244, has instead been made for December 14th’s UFC 245 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It will be Usman’s first defense of his title, and at long last the first actual title bout for Covington.
Usman (15-1) won UFC gold with a dominant unanimous decision over Tyron Woodley at UFC 235. “The Nigerian Nightmare” has notably beaten Rafael dos Anjos, Demian Maia, and Leon Edwards on his way towards becoming champion. He has yet to lose in his UFC career, with his sole defeat coming six years ago in just his second pro bout.
Covington (15-1) won the interim title when he beat Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 225 last year, but he was stripped of the belt when a bout between him and Tyron Woodley for UFC 228 did not materialize. That title shot ultimately went to Darren Till, while Covington instead engaged in a highly documented spat with the UFC. He would end up facing Robbie Lawler in a UFC on ESPN main event in August, dominating the former champ to win yet another decision.
It looked as if Covington had secured that title shot he’s so desperately coveted, but talks for UFC 244 fell apart, which is how we got Nate Diaz vs. Jorge Masvidal as the main event for that shot. Covington ripped into the UFC for what he deemed as “slave labor negotiations,” while Dana White put the blame on Colby. Finally, the drama just to get this fight booked is over (we think), and Covington has a chance to become the undisputed champion.
The other UFC 245 title fights are a men’s featherweight title fight between Max Holloway and Alex Volkanovski, and a women’s bantamweight title defense for Amanda Nunes against Germaine de Randamie.