UFC Newark came and went this weekend like a flash flood that actually lasted 5 days. It was an event that was bogged down with poor scheduling and last minute fights, many of which didn’t deliver.
Lucky for us old men over in England, the whole event was finished by 11.30pm. Usually this is the time prelims are just getting underway for us. My excitement before the event was palpable. Robbie Lawler was going to end Colby Covington - I just knew it. Finally we would get our people’s champ back and he would leapfrog Colby to a title shot. More importantly, it was all a time I would still be awake.
Alas, I was wrong.
Colby didn’t just beat Lawler, he dominated him. I mean DOMINATED. Last time I saw something that awful was a pegging video online. Robbie looked a shadow of his former self. Almost like a latter day Wanderlei Silva, there was no combinations, there was no footwork to get on the inside of Covington and land bombs and there most certainly was no intensity. Lawler looked every bit of 37.
Covington on the other hand, looked like a future undisputed champion. From round one he used his wrestling to force Robbie into stuffing takedowns and attempting to avoid Colby’s smothering use of wrestling. Covington also would not let Robbie breathe, every time Robbie broke away, there was Colby, just peppering him with jab after jab and combo after combo. Nothing was with power and nothing wasn’t precise and calculated.
For as much as I hate Covington’s personal attitude, I cannot fault him for his character portrayal and his ability to stick to Kayfabe (wrestling term - look it up). Colby even came out to Kurt Angle’s entrance music. Kurt Angle as many know is the former Olympian who became a huge star in the WWE and his entrance music is stuff of legend. The chants of “YOU SUCK” reigned down from the crowd this past weekend. Colby took it all in his stride and looked to be the most comfortable fighter/performer I have ever seen with that much hate on them.
Covington couldn’t even be respectful post fight. He made a bit of a sick joke regarding Matt Hughes and a train, that I won’t repeat, because you probably know already and if you don’t, Google is tremendous. In my opinion the joke was funny, mainly because Matt Hughes is a piece of shit and according to others including his wife and brother, he always has been. If you didn’t know, Robbie Lawler has been a good friend of Matt Hughes for years.
Furthermore, Colby then headed up to the studio to have a stand off with current champ Kamaru Usman. He acted like the perfect internet troll. Usman was taking off his jacket and being held back by security. We can see who won that round of mind games….
Colby is not only a suffocating and annoying son of a bitch when he’s fighting, but as above, he’s just as annoying out of the Octagon. I for one am starting to buy into it. No matter what he says or does outside the Octagon (he has stayed relevant regardless of not fighting for over a year), inside the Octagon he is a winner. Every fight I have seen him in apart from his lone loss, he has been dominant. Not only dominant but his chain wrestling and striking have got better with each appearance. It looks like he has reached a certain peak.
Why does this intrigue me so much? Kamaru Usman is why. These two have extremely similar suffocating and not always the easiest to watch styles. That said, they win and they win without question. There are never any questions after either gets their hand raised. They both use the clinch to perfection, they both confused their opponents, by constantly shooting low and then returning to dirty box and they both have great boxing.
The one difference I tend to see though, is that even though Colby doesn’t get many finishes, he is a point scoring fighter, meaning he will have output, just to make sure that he is always ahead. Whether it be strikes or shots for a takedown, he is always doing something. In contrast, Usman in my opinion, is more a stifler and he will ruin your spirit, by simply not allowing you to do what you want to do. While he will be in your face just as much as Colby it is more to stop you, than it is to topple you.
This clash of styles fascinates me. Who comes out on top? The sticker or the stifler? We shall have to see. Colby wants to throw down in Madison Square Garden later this year, and I cannot see a better time or venue to have this fight. Welterweight is a stacked division and the title fights need to be more often. Injuries aside, I want to see that belt defended, and defended now. Dana we need you to forget all other title fights for the minute, they don’t count. Get these two best of the best in there immediately and settle the beef.