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‘I felt like a jackass’ - Kamaru Usman discusses airport confrontation with Colby Covington

UFC champion Kamaru Usman spoke about the time he approached his rival at an airport.

Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington square off at UFC 268.
Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington square off at UFC 268.
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman has proved he has the beating of Colby Covington on two occasions now. The first of those instances was at UFC 245 in 2019, there he broke Covington’s jaw and won via fifth round TKO. Recently, at UFC 268, Usman defeated Covington by unanimous decision.

However, in addition to two sanctioned bouts, Usman says there was almost an unofficial fight between the two at an airport in 2017. Back then cameras captured the moment when Usman approached a surprised Covington. Nothing happened as a result of their chance meeting. Though, both would continue their war of words on the internet with Covington tweeting, “And don’t ever come try to suck up to me again in the airport and be friendly cause next time I see you, you getting bitch slapped.”

Recently Usman discussed this incident and said that it was Covington who was the friendly one during this encounter. Furthermore ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ said that his rival’s cordial behaviour was totally disarming and left him feeling like a “jackass”.

Here’s what he told the Full Send podcast (per sportskeeda).

“So I go up to him and my team is recording it, like a jackass ... So I walk up to him, and I was like, let me not come out too aggressive but at the same time let him know that I am serious. So I go and I sit in front of him, and I was like, ‘What’s going on, man?’ I give him the tough look. And he was so nice, that I felt like a jackass right after the break. I was like ‘Damn, I was trying to be mean and he’s trying to be nice.’ I was all ready for action, but he was so nice, that I was like, ‘Damn, I’m kind of a jackass here.’”

Usman improved his pro record to 20-1 with his decisive victory over Covington earlier this month. His lone defeat came back in 2013, long before Usman entered the UFC.

He won the UFC welterweight title with a win over Tyron Woodley at UFC 235 in 2019. Since then he has defended the title five times, twice against Covington, twice against Jorge Masvidal and once against Gilbert Burns.

Usman’s 15 consecutive wins is good for an all-time record in the UFC’s welterweight division.