Colby Covington and Kamaru Usman were close to cross fists, but were separated by a commentary desk and security guards who’d been called to keep them apart.
The welterweight champ and ex-interim champ repeatedly challenged each other, but didn’t get much past threats and insults on ESPN’s post-fight show for “UFC on ESPN 5”.
Covington (15-1 MMA, 10-1 UFC) was just minutes removed from a pivotal win over Robbie Lawler at the “Prudential Center” in Newark. He used his post-fight interview to challenge Usman to a fight on site.
Hearing that, the UFC took steps to make sure no fists were thrown on camera.
Usman, on duty as a UFC analyst, congratulated Covington before asking him: “You’re standing here and you’re talking now. When did your balls drop?”
“The only thing you’re losing faster than your hairline is that Power Ranger belt,” replied Covington, and it was off to the races.
Covington called Usman “Tyron Woodley 2.0” and claimed the champ has been faking the injury that’s sidelined him since his title win.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) August 3, 2019
“Did you get a call from the president today?” Covington said. “That’s right, you’re a loser. No one gives a **** about you. Everyone came to see me, so shut your mouth and listen to the champ.”
In a familiar refrain, Covington accused Usman of ducking a fight with him.
“Name one time I ducked you,” Usman (15-1 MMA, 10-0 UFC) repeated. “Name a time I ducked you! Name on time! Name one! You can’t name one.”
“You were offered to fight me,” Covington said. “You don’t want to fight me. You’ve got fake injuries. You’re a joke.”
UFC analyst Karyn Bryant attempted to calm things down by asking Usman about a potential fight at UFC 244, which Covington mentioned in his post-fight interview.
“It’s a possibility tonight,” the champ said.
“Let’s do tonight,” Covington said. “Let’s do it right now. Let’s go right now then. You ain’t ****.”
They made it a few inches forward before they were intercepted. Usman kept hammering at a video that shows he and his manager confronting Covington after Usman’s championship win at UFC 235.
“He talks big because there’s security in front of us,” Usman said. “We saw the videos.”
“Oh yeah, I’m going to risk my championship fight with Tyron Woodley,” Covington said. “I’m a professional. Come see me in the cage and stop making up excuses.”
Many of the insults on display were reruns of previous interviews.
“If I make a sandwich tomorrow, he’s going to try and make the sandwich the same way,” Covington said.
“You know what, I take your sandwich,” Usman said. “Just like I have the belt. I take it all. Any way, any way the fight goes, I beat him.”