LAS VEGAS — Kamaru Usman’s welterweight title was slipping away as the seconds were counting down in the final round of an unbelievably entertaining fight.
Colby Covington came out hard in the fifth round, fighting despite what he believed to be a broken jaw, and was landing clean shots on Usman.
Usman’s power, though, was taking its toll on Covington and the controversial welterweight was wilting. Usman dropped Covington with a perfectly placed straight right and then dropped him a second time before finishing him at 4:10 of the fifth to retain his belt in the main event of UFC 245 at T-Mobile Arena.
Covington got off to an early lead by pushing the pace and landing several good left hands. But he wasn’t hitting as hard as Usman and the defending champion’s power and focus on body shots eventually took their toll.
Covington slowed noticeably in the second half of the fight. After the third round, he told his corner he thought his jaw was broken.
Usman didn’t know it, but still was effective in the fourth. He was landing more and harder shots and was frustrating Covington. But when the final round started, Covington had appeared to gain a second wind.
He opened his attack and like he did early, was landing on Usman. But there wasn’t much snap on the blows and Usman was able to walk through them before getting started.
The finish put to an end, at least temporarily, a bitter rivalry, as Covington had taunted Usman and talked loads of trash. Usman remained composed and was able to overcome it by pouring it on in the final 90 seconds to get the stoppage.
The winner of the fifth, had it gone to the cards, would have decided it. One judge had Covington 3-1 and another had Usman 3-1. The third judge had it 2-2, which is how Yahoo Sports had it at the time of the finish.
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