Thursday, December 2, 2021

Kamaru Usman, Rose Namajunas of Colorado retains title at UFC 268

NEW YORK – Kamaru Usman defeated Colby Covington by unanimous decision to retain the UFC Welterweight Championship at UFC 268 in New York on Saturday night.

With the win, Usman improved to 20-1-0, and has won 19 consecutive fights, including five title defences.

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“I’m the best living pound-per-pound right now,” he said.

Former interim welterweight champion Covington lost 16-3-0.

Corey Sipkin, Associated Press

Kamaru Osman reacts against Colby Covington during a Welterweight Mixed Martial Arts Championship bout at UFC 268 in New York, Sunday, November 7, 2021.

New York State Athletic Commission judges Derek Cleary (49-46), Dave Tirelli (48-47) and Sal D’Amato (48-47) all submitted scorecards in Osman’s favor.

Going into the fight, Covington states that he has reorganized his approach and will not fight in the same way as he did in his first encounter. And the opening round revealed a more cautious fighter, although as the round progressed, Osman’s pressure appeared to force Covington into the defensive.

Usman received the first knockdown of the fight late in the second round, and attempted to end Covington with a flurry of punches before the bell rang. He started the third round where he left off, but Covington pinned Usman against Cage to finish five minutes.

The two spent most of the fourth and fifth rounds exchanging attacks. Covington startled Usman with a shot in the fifth, but was unable to clear it away.

Usman and Covington made headlines at the fifth UFC pay-per-view event at Madison Square Garden, and had a pair rematch in the co-main event and main event.

The Osman-Covington fight was a rematch of their classic title bout at UFC 245. Usman won the five-round, stand-up fight with a technical knockout of Covington, with 50 seconds remaining in the fifth round, although Covington immediately opposed referee Mark Goddard. decision, and continued to complain about the call in the 22 months since the fight.

The first Rose Namajunas-Zhang Weili women’s strawweight title fight featured no such controversy, as Namajunas defeated Weili 1:18 in the first round of her UFC 261 bout in April to retain her title.

Seven months later, the result was the same for Namjunas, even though the path he and Weili were walking was unfamiliar. After a five-round jiujitsu exhibition, Namajunas defeated Weili via split decision in the co-main event.

Judge Michael Bell submitted a 48-47 scorecard for Weili, while Eric Colon (49-46) and Doug Crosby (48-47) gave Namajunas a fight win.

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