UFC 245 Results: Kamaru Usman stops Colby Covington in fifth round of grudge match 1

It was the 16th win of his career, but it’s hard to imagine any victories tasted sweeter than Kamaru Usman’s first defense of his UFC title.

Usman defeated his bitter rival Colby Covington by fifth-round TKO at 4:10 in the main event of UFC 245 inside T-Mobile Arena.

“Hey, this one is not just for me,” Usman said to Joe Rogan after getting his welterweight belt wrapped around his waist. “This one’s for the whole entire world right now.”

To the surprise of absolutely no one, these two didn’t show any interest in touching gloves to get this fight underway.

Usman tried to strike first with a head kick that caused him to slip to the mat. Covington followed up briefly but wasn’t able to mount offense off of the small error from the champion.

The two wrestlers opted for their boxing in round one, and the action came at a blistering pace. The two fighters traded in the center of the cage throughout round one and both managed to land heavy shots.

Both fighters wore some damage after round one — Usman a bloody nose and Covington a mouse under his right eye.

Usman found success with his jab at the start of round two. Covington was able to answer with two punches that seemed to daze Usman for just a moment, but the champion recovered quickly.

A kick that seemed to hit the body caused a brief stoppage of action with two minutes left after Usman complained of a low blow. Once the moment passed, the two returned to the frenetic pace they set in the beginning.

Usman appeared to stumble Covington with a right hand, but Covington shook it off and finished the round.

The pace tapered off a bit in round three as both fighters appeared to be searching for openings rather than swinging at will. Usman found one a quarter of the way through the round when a hefty overhand shot found its mark.

Usman also worked his body shots in round three. He ripped hooks to Covington’s ribs and mixed in the occasional kick.

It looked as though Covington had an opening to respond near the end of the round after a head kick, but an eye poke by Covington forced referee Marc Goddard to break up the action. The doctor came in and cleared the match to continue, and the fighters boxed it out for the remainder of round three.

After some dips in pace round three, the championship rounds opened with a bang. Both fighters put their feet on the gas to start the fourth, unleashing bombs.

Usman’s success with his jab and body shots continued, but Covington was able to record some positives as well, the biggest being an uppercut that snapped the champion’s head back halfway through the round.

As the horn sounded to signal the end of the fourth, it appeared the fighters had no interest in taking the minute-long break before re-engaging.

The same pace from the previous rounds continued before Usman put the challenger in trouble.

A fight that appeared to be headed to the scorecards suddenly came to an end.

Usman rocked Covington with a straight right hand that knocked him down momentarily and then knocked him down once again after Covington got back to his feet.

Usman unleashed ground and pound as Covington desperately held onto a leg for a takedown, but Goddard stepped in after Covington did not answer the repeated blows.

“I’m the best in the world,” Usman said. “I’m gonna keep improving and I’m gonna give you guys a show each and every time, just like that.”

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