Covington working with а wrestler who ‘used to wipe the mats’ with Usman

Colby Covington is revisiting his roots in his UFC 245 training camp.

He brought in a familiar face to the gym, NCAA All-American wrestler Patrick Downey, in preparation for his upcoming welterweight title fight with Kamaru Usman in two months.

Covington (15-1 MMA, 10-1 UFC) said Downey used to handle Usman (15-1, 10-0 UFC) with ease on the mats.

“I’ve been getting back a little bit more to my wrestling roots this camp,” Covington told MMA Junkie. “I know that Usman comes with a D-II level wrestling pedigree, so I have to be ready for that, and I brought in a guy that used to wipe the mats with him when he was in high school – a guy by the name of Pat Downey. He was at the Olympic training center with ‘Marty Fake Newsman.’ He used to beat him, so I’m hanging with this guy. You know ‘Marty Fake Newsman’ will be light work on Dec. 14.”

But Covington said this wasn’t an attempt to necessarily troll Usman. Their common collegiate background laid the groundwork.

“I didn’t know the history until he told me, but the history that I have with the guy is he also wrestled at Iowa Central, the same place that me, Jon Jones and Cain Velasquez came out of in college,” Covington said. “We kind of have mutual friends and mutual contacts, so I was able to get in contact and we want to bring him out to American Top Team. We’re looking to always improve our gym at American Top Team, and having a high level like him – he just made his first world team for the USA – and having that type of look in the room only ups everyone’s level in the gym.”

Covington, a former interim welterweight champion, finally will get his crack at an undisputed title. He and Usman have identical pro MMA records, and have wins over common opponents Demian Maia and Rafael dos Anjos en route to the top of the ladder.

It may look like an evenly matched fight on paper, but Covington thinks he beats Usman wherever the fight goes.

“I’m expecting this fight to be the easiest fight of my career,” Covington said. “The guy, he can’t hang with me in any department of mixed martial arts. He’s a D-II wrestling scrub. His boxing and standup game is amateur at best. His jiu-jitsu is pathetic. I mean, I’m better than him everywhere.”

In his most recent outing, Covington put on arguably his best performance against former 170-pound champ Robbie Lawler at UFC on ESPN 5 in August. He stifled Lawler with relentless pace and pressure and broke the UFC record for most significant strikes attempted in a fight.

Covington sees more of the same happening at UFC 245, except this time he doesn’t think Usman will last.

“I’m going to knock him out inside three rounds,” Covington said. “Take that money to the bank if you guys want to make your bank accounts great again. He’s getting finished. That chin is weak. He’s been dropped in a lot of fights, and he don’t have that good of a chin. When he finds out that he can’t wrestle with me, he will be put stiff and unconscious on Dec. 14. and Colby ‘Chaos’ Covington will be the face of the UFC.”


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