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New video: Hear Covington’s surprising in-cage confession to Usman at UFC 268

Find out what Colby Covington told Kamaru Usman in the cage at UFC 268.

UFC 268: Usman v Covington 2
UFC 268: Kamaru Usman v Colby Covington 2
Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman defended his title at UFC 268 by besting Colby Covington by unanimous decision. This is the second time Usman has retained the title versus Covington. In their first fight ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ TKO’d ‘Chaos’, breaking his jaw in the process.

The hype around their fights has largely been generated by Covington, with his trademark brand of fight promotion. This promotion involves performing a pastiche of loudmouth alt-right incendiaries. Part of that act is taking every opportunity to trash talk opponents, with offensive and sometimes racist and/or xenophobic comments. With this pantomime the American has been able to score prime opportunities in the UFC and enrich himself considerably.

In the closing moments of his most recent fight, Covington dropped his veil for a minute—when he thought only Usman would notice. However, the UFC’s cameras were there. Now the promotion has released footage showing what Covington said to his rival in the cage. And he sounds far different from the character we are used to at press conferences.

Here’s a partial transcript for that short interaction:

Covington: “You know I’m just trying to sell it for you.

Usman: “What?”

Covington: “You know I’m just trying to sell if for you.

Usman: “I know. I know. ... I know.”

Covington: “It’s all love.”

After Covington tells Usman that he’s been performing an act, which is news to virtually nobody. Fight referee Dan Miragliotta steps in to break up the conversation, blurting, “Ok, go kiss later, go back to your corners, go ahead.”

Covington would fall back into (or out of) character quickly after this exchange. As veteran MMA writer Ben Fowlkes pointed out, Covington branded Usman a “cheating coward” and said he has “no respect for that guy” in his post fight press conference.

With his second win over Covington Usman improved to 20-1 on his career and a perfect 15-0 in the UFC. His 15 straight wins is a UFC record for consecutive victories in the welterweight division.