The UFC welterweight title fight between Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington went through multiple postponements. But all parties soon found middle ground, and the matchup will now take place as the headliner for UFC 245 in December.
Many questioned if the fight would sell or not, but for Usman, there is much more to this pairing that what may be perceived.
“Let’s be honest, this thing is big,” Usman said on Tuesday’s Dominance MMA press event (transcript by MMA Junkie). “It’s really, really big. Not just because it’s a fighter against another fighter, it’s what this whole fight represents. I’m an immigrant, and what this guy is putting on, the persona, what’s really behind it?
“You can’t just fake something if you don’t actually somewhat believe it, so this is much more than just a fight. It represents a lot of different elements, which is going to bring a lot of different people from all walks.”
While “The Nigerian Nightmare” expects a 25-minute bout, he foresees a quick stoppage en route to his first successful title defense.
“If he’s tough enough, it might last 25 minutes like I did to the last guy,” Usman said of Covintgon. “If he’s tough enough. I just don’t think he’s that tough. I just think he plays off fatigue, making a coward of his opponents.
“How does that work on him? I think it’s going to be quite quick. I think the fight might, they’ll be relieved but at the same time they’re gonna be disappointed if they don’t get enough blood, so we’ll see.”
UFC 245 takes place on December 14th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Also part of the card is the featherweight title fight between Max Holloway and Alexander Volkanovski, and the women’s bantamweight title fight between Amanda Nunes and Germaine de Randamie.