UFC welterweight Kamaru Usman is on the verge of a title fight against Colby Covington at UFC 235, but don’t expect a different result.
The colby covington vs usman is a fight that many people were hoping would produce a different result. However, the fight ended in a unanimous decision victory for Colby Covington.
The main event of UFC 268 will feature one of the most anticipated rematches in recent UFC history, as UFC president Dana White confirmed Monday that welterweight champion Kamaru Usman will defend his title against Colby Covington. The exact date and venue have yet to be announced, but the UFC is aiming to hold the event at Madison Square Garden in New York.
On December 14, 2019, Usman stopped Covington in the fifth round in a tough bout. After four rounds of a tie on the judges’ scorecards, Usman pounded Covington in the final round to secure the TKO.
Usman has improved dramatically after his victory against Covington, defeating Jorge Masvidal twice and Gilbert Burns. Since then, Covington has only fought once, in September 2020, when he defeated Tyron Woodley in the fifth round. Is there any reason to believe the rematch will be any different?
Meanwhile, the main event of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night is still generating attention, with TJ Dillashaw defeating Cory Sandhagen by split decision. Was that the best decision?
Uriah Hall has now won three consecutive games. Sean Strickland has won four games in a row. On Saturday, both up-and-coming competitors will attempt to join the UFC middleweight championship picture.
Hall vs. Strickland at UFC Fight Night UFC Apex, Las Vegas, Saturday • Main card on ESPN/ESPN+ at 9 p.m. ET • Prelims on ESPN/ESPN+ at 6 p.m. ET
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Bellator’s featherweight superfight featuring two-division champion Patricio “Pitbull” Freire and unbeaten AJ McKee gets more attention than the UFC’s Fight Night event on Saturday. The bout may be so important that the winner is regarded as the greatest featherweight in the world.
But don’t overlook the UFC main event on Saturday. Uriah Hall is on a four-game winning streak and is on the verge of a huge chance. Will a fifth consecutive victory against Sean Strickland, who has won four straight fights in his own right, be enough to propel Hall into contention for the UFC middleweight title?
Marc Raimondi, Jeff Wagenheim, and Carlos Contreras Legaspi, on our panel, delve into the trendiest issues to determine what’s true and what’s not.
In December 2019, Kamaru Usman, right, and Colby Covington engaged in a violent back-and-forth fight. Usman was stopped in the fifth round. Getty Images/Steve Marcus
Whether it’s real or not, there’s no reason to think Usman vs. Covington 2 will be any different.
Raimondi: This is the fight that the UFC, especially its president Dana White, has been waiting for. For good reason, White was a big admirer of the first bout. It was one of the greatest welterweight championship bouts of all time, and one of the top UFC title fights of all time.
As a result, I’d reply “not genuine” to this assertion. Yes, Usman knocked out Covington in the first round and punched his jaw out. And, without a doubt, Usman has only gotten better since that fight — quite a bunch, in fact. However, as divisive as Covington may be, he is a formidable opponent. For a long time, he’s been one of the greatest welterweights in the world.
On the judges’ scorecards, the first bout versus Usman ended in a draw in the fifth round. Is it truly so unlikely that Covington will win the rematch? No, I don’t believe so. Before the first fight, I met up with Covington in Coconut Creek, Florida, and it was obvious that he was no longer at ease with American Top Team, where he was having significant problems with his former best buddy Jorge Masvidal, as well as fellow UFC stars Dustin Poirier and Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Since then, Covington has departed and is now training part-time at MMA Masters in Miami. It’s difficult to tell whether the distractions were a role against Usman, but the fight was so tight until the fifth round that even little differences might have made a difference.
All of this is not to suggest that I believe Covington will win the rematch. Since UFC 245, Usman has improved significantly. Take a look at his two wins against Masvidal and his stoppage of Burns.
Usman is, pound for pound, the greatest fighter on the world right now, in my opinion. He’ll almost certainly defeat Covington for the second time. Is that to say Covington isn’t good enough to make up the difference? Certainly not. There is no guarantee in this second battle, so fans should be looking forward to it.
On Saturday, Cory Sandhagen was defeated by TJ Dillashaw in a split decision. Was it obvious enough to constitute a robbery for Sandhagen, even if outside views on the judges’ scorecards were mixed? Zuffa LLC/Jeff Bottari
Cory Sandhagen felt robbed by the judges in his defeat against TJ Dillashaw, whether it was real or not.
According to data collected by MMADecisions.com, the majority of media members who submitted their scores on Twitter had Sandhagen winning by decision. I didn’t tweet my score, but Sandhagen performed enough to win in my opinion. Following a rewatch on Sunday, I had Sandhagen winning the second, fourth, and fifth rounds, just as judge Derek Cleary had it on Saturday night. He was the only one who disagreed. Dillashaw won the fight according to judges Sal D’Amato and Junichiro Kamijo.
But what about a robbery? Definitely not true. This was a tight battle that came down to the last round.
Official #UFCVegas32 Scorecard: Cory Sandhagen vs. TJ Dillashaw
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Sandhagen received those three rounds since his punches had greater impact than Dillashaw’s, in my opinion. The first round was completely won by Dillashaw. The second round was obvious for Sandhagen, who opened up a nasty gash near Dillashaw’s right eye. Dillashaw also won the third round on all three judges’ cards. It was a very simple five minutes to score.
The late rounds were when things became a little hazy in terms of scoring. The fourth round, I think, was the most difficult to score. Dillashaw got out to a strong start, hitting leg kicks and applying pressure. He seemed to be in charge of the situation. Keep in mind, however, that imposing pressure or dictating behavior is not the main scoring mechanism. Effective striking/grappling is defined by impact, which refers to the fighter who lands the most significant, possibly fight-ending punches and attempts at submission. Early in the fourth, Dillashaw was the man, but I thought Sandhagen stole the round with several powerful punches, including a spinning back fist.
Sandhagen’s fourth round was split between Cleary and D’Amato, with Kamijo giving it to Dillashaw. Because he delivered the more devastating punches, I assumed the fifth was a Sandhagen round. D’Amato handed it to Dillashaw, notwithstanding Cleary and Kamijo’s agreement. Dillashaw won the match because he had won two of the first three rounds, which I agree with. His late-round scores were enough to give him the win. Sandhagen received each of the final rounds from Cleary, who was the only judge to do so. In this case, I like Cleary’s card.
Is this, however, a robbery? No, I’m not convinced. The fourth round was a tight call, and Dillashaw may win the fifth round. This wasn’t a bad choice like many others we’ve seen in the past. This was a tight fight, and MMA is notoriously difficult to score in real time, particularly without the advantage of playback to assess how hard things fall.
Dillashaw survived a popped knee in the first round and one of the worst cuts in MMA history to finish the fight looking just as powerful as he did at the start. That’s admirable. And, although I believe Sandhagen should have won, Dillashaw should not be discredited in any way. He put up a valiant fight.
The Bellator featherweight battle between Patricio “Pitbull” Freire and AJ McKee on Saturday is, by virtually any metric, the most important bout in the promotion’s history. Getty Images/Jayne Kamin-Oncea
PatrIcio ‘Pitbull’ Freire vs. AJ McKee has a genuine claim to being the greatest featherweight in the world.
Wagenheim: Yes, this is a genuine possibility, particularly if either Freire, the two-division champion, or McKee, his unbeaten opponent, puts on a show at Bellator 263.
Now, I’m not claiming that the victor this weekend will be completely right in his self-evaluation. Alexander Volkanovski, the UFC featherweight champion, has a solid argument for becoming No. 1. In his most recent fight, ex-champ Max Holloway looked like a world beater, despite his two defeats to Volkanovski knocking him down a rung on the ladder. And, after seeing Brian Ortega’s previous bout, let’s see what he has in store for Volkanovski on Sept. 25.
However, since he will have recently defeated Pitbull or McKee, the Freire-McKee winner will be properly empowered to stake his claim to the summit of the mountain. In Bellator, which lacks the roster depth of the UFC, that type of win is difficult to come by. It’s an unique chance to demonstrate brilliance when you’re up against a two-time champion who has knocked out Michael Chandler (Freire) or an undefeated young prodigy with six finishes in his previous seven bouts (McKee).
The greatest bout in Bellator history is Freire vs. McKee, a battle of incredible local talent. It’s by far the most important bout on a Bellator weekend that also includes a UFC show. The championship battle will not conclusively settle the 145-pound division across organizations, but it will widen the discussion. That’s a win-win situation for everyone involved, and it’s good for the sport.
Uriah Hall is on a three-bout winning run heading into Saturday’s battle against Sean Strickland. USA TODAY Sports/Kyle Terada
With a victory on Saturday, Uriah Hall will be a championship contender.
Legaspi: It’s not true. We’ve been waiting a long time for “The Next Anderson Silva,” and Strickland doesn’t seem to be a stepping stone right now.
Strickland is a technically competent and durable fighter who can throw a high volume of blows for the whole 25-minute battle, or even surprise Hall with his strength, like he did with Brendan Allen in November. After seeing Allen on Saturday, whose chin looked powerful against Punahele Soriano, that victory was all the more remarkable.
Hall, 36, is riding a four-bout winning run that includes a horrific injury to former middleweight champion Chris Weidman due to a checked kick, as well as the legendary Silva’s farewell fight and a split decision victory against Antonio Carlos Junior. The latter two, respectively, have gone on to boxing and the PFL.
Hall needs a big victory to climb the standings and get a chance at the championship against Paulo Costa, Marvin Vettori, Jared Cannonier, or Jack Hermansson.
Even though Strickland is rated lower than Hall, he has been quite good in the Octagon since stepping up from 170 to 185 pounds, and he has won four consecutive fights. Strickland is a tough battle for everyone in the division right now, and Hall may only get a modest reward if a win doesn’t come with a highlight reel finish.
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