The rematch that fans have been waiting for, Usman vs Covington 2, the fight was probably the most trouble we have seen Usman has been. It was razor thin and a bit of controversies involved that it makes perfect sense that UFC needs to book the fight. No other fighter has come close to beating Usman apart from Covington.
Although some would think that Covington does not deserve to fight Usman since he only has one win since their first loss while Usman has 3 wins and two of those ended in a brutal knockout. Covington may have been lucky that Thompson did not win as it made him the clear cut of fighting for the title next.
In their first fight, it was pretty much even. Covington landed a lot of volume strikes and connected but he indeed lacked power to finish a durable Usman, while Usman clearly had the power advantage but he started slower. Once Usman got Covington’s timing, he was able to finish him. It was at the final round that Covington was stopped in the late.
It was later revealed that whoever would have won the fifth round won the fight, that is how close the fight was. Covington said that there were a lot of controversies surrounding the fight like eye pokes, hitting below the belt and the early stoppage. So what better way to settle the rivalry in a rematch.
Since their fight, Usman and Covington changed their camp, Usman is now under Trevor Wittman where he really improved his striking. Especially his jab and combos, even before Usman had power but he need the right combos to land and needed a bit of polish.
As for Covington, he had left American Top Team for MMA Masters due to internal controversies. In his last fight, he showed improvements, even went on to stop Tyron Woodley in the 5th round. Covington always had that high level endurance and fast pacing that makes his opponents drown from his pressure.
It will be interesting to see a rematch since both wrestlers did not even try to change levels in their first fight. Also Usman’s striking has improved a lot but it could also backfire as sometimes fighters fall in love with their striking that they also get caught.