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UFC 268 results: Kamaru Usman holds off a surging Colby Covington to retain welterweight title

Kamaru Usman just successfully defended his welterweight title against Colby Covington for the second time in the UFC 268 main event.

It was atop the UFC 268 billing where Kamaru Usman won a gritty unanimous decision in his rematch with Colby Covington. The defending champion looked composed out there, working behind his jab and remaining disciplined. He also scored back-to-back knockdowns in the second round, but Covington still fought on and got stronger as the fight matured. When the dust settled, Usman got the nod, and the respect of Covington. The men shook hands and embraced in the center of the Octagon after the fight. This is Usman’s fifth straight title defense, so the question remains, who can possibly dethrone the king?

Usman pressed Covington right away, taking command of the cage. Covington shot in for a single leg, but Usman rolled through, sprawled on the re-shoot, and then stood back up. A clash of heads caused a cut below the right eye of Colby, but it didn’t really seem to bother him. After some back and forth on the feet, it was Usman’s turn to shoot, and he got a short-lived takedown. On the feet they went toe-to-toe, with both men connecting in exciting fashion.

Usman went right back to the center of the Octagon in the second round. He was almost daring Covington to close the distance, because he was waiting with hefty hands. Covington shot back in for a takedown, but Usman was able to avoid it and get back to open space. Then a left hook dropped Colby, and as soon as he stood up, another one dropped him again. The round ended with Usman landing gigantic punches to the body as Covington shelled up in the turtle position.

Covington was firing back in the third round, seeming to have recovered from the earlier knockdowns. Usman was still in control, though, peppering Covington with a composed striking game. Colby shot in again, but Kamaru still wasn’t having it. As the round grew on, Colby started connecting with his hands, which opened up a short-lived takedown.

Covington started the fourth frame with some activity. He was unleashing some volume and some of it was getting through. As Colby let his hands go, more and more were hitting the mark. The champ wore it well and stuck to his gameplan. He used his jab over and over, jousting Colby, but the challenger was rallying. He cracked Usman with mean kicks to the body, which opened up his punches to the head. He even pressed Kamaru against the cage for a little bit near the end of the round.

The athletes went blow for blow to begin the final round. They were both connecting, but Covington was landing the bigger punches. Usman seemed wobbled, so Covington shot in for the takedown, but the champ stuffed it. The standup battle continued, until Kamaru slipped as Covington threw a head kick. Colby shot right away, pressing the champ against the cage, but the fight didn’t stay there for long. An accidental eye poke to Colby brought a pause to the bout, but it resumed after the doctor came in to take a look.

Kamaru Usman def. Colby Covington by unanimous decision (48-47 x2, 49-46): Welterweight