UFC 245 was about as good as advertised from an action standpoint, and it ended with a definitive finish in one of the promotion’s most bitter rivalries.
UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman scored two knockdowns and captured a thrilling fifth-round TKO over Colby Covington to retain his title and silence the outspoken and controversial challenger.
Here is a look at the finish:
Here is how the fight community reacted to the finish:
This was an incredible fight from start to finish. Many times we see fights between rivals and there is an element of timidity because the two fighters are too calculated, rather than aggressively pursuing a stoppage.
That wasn’t the case here.
Usman and Covington came out throwing bombs from the beginning. Despite both men’s wrestling credentials, neither looked to secure a takedown. There was legit bad blood in this bout and the two men wanted to embarrass their rival with a KO finish.
Covington had some great moments.
Love him or hate him, he’s as tough as they come and he gave nearly as good as he received in this bout. He seemingly suffered a broken jaw in the third round on this stiff punch from Usman:
Later the broken jaw claim was refuted:
Almost every round was close and hard fought, as Usman did good work with his jab, body shots and the straight right hand. Covington landed some overhand rights and left hooks that effected on the champion.
However, it appeared Usman’s strikes did more damage, and a look at both men’s faces after the bout would support that concept. At the time of the stoppage, one judge had it in Covington’s favor three rounds to one, which is a little absurd. Another judge had it 3-1 in Usman’s favor, and the third judge had it even.
Covington appeared to complain about the stoppage, claiming he was OK as Usman pounded as he shelled up on his knees, but even if referee Marc Goddard hadn’t stepped in, the result would have been the same. Covington had been battered in the fifth round, dropped twice and was being smashed with hammerfists with under a minute left in the fight.
Usman was surely winning the round, and he may have been able to get a 10-8 advantage based on his level of dominance in the final frame. Therefore, even if Covington had been allowed to finish, he still would have lost.
Unfortunately, Covington didn’t stick around for a post-fight interview:
It’s a shame when a fighter has built themselves largely on their mic skills, but at a tough moment, they can’t find it within themselves to speak to the fans.
That said, Covington deserves credit for a gutsy performance, but Usman has validated himself as one of the best in the world and the undisputed UFC Welterweight Champion.