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Nigerian Kamaru Usman retained his UFC welterweight champion title against Colby Covington. Stephen R. Sylvanie / Reuters

Opposed to the American Colby Covington, the UFC welterweight world champion Kamaru Usman won in Las Vegas by technical knockout (UFC 245). The Nigerian made the difference in the last round against a sulphurous opponent. He keeps his title and proclaims loud and clear: " I am the best in the world. "

Nine months ago, Kamaru Usman became the UFC welterweight world champion ( welterweight , the under 77 kg category) by defeating the American Tyron Woodley by unanimous decision. His rise to the throne took place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is in this same room that the one we nicknamed the "Nigerian nightmare" came back, Saturday December 14, to put his belt back into play.

The “Nigerian nightmare” against the American “bad guy”

Facing the fighter born in Auchi, a real "bad guy" stood up: Colby Covington. The American, specialist in "trash-talking" (verbal provocations), has gladly put on the clothes of the main combat antagonist of UFC 245. He completes himself in this role which earns him as much applause as hoots and which in no way alters its dangerousness in the octagon.

Throughout the pre-fight, the sulphurous Covington multiplied the attacks and harsh words against Usman. And even during the confrontation, the one who had 15 victories and 1 defeat before UFC 245 did not stop provoking the champion. But the latter did not get carried away.

A bit of trash-talking between Colby Covington and Kamaru Usman at UFC 245. Stephen R. Sylvanie / Reuters

After two fairly balanced first rounds with a more offensive Covington, the fight changed for the first time in the third round. Back in his corner, the challenger announced to his clan: " I think he broke my jaw. Indeed, with a powerful counter-right, Kamaru Usman reached Colby Covington in this round.

" My mind is stronger than all these guys "

However, it was not until the end of the fifth and last round that the "Nigerian nightmare" fell on his opponent. At 1'43 left, Usman rocked Covington and never let go. Unable to block the Nigerian's blows, the American ended up dropping to 1'08, his mouth bloody. Still aware, Covington got up straight away, but the champion ended up having it. From a new right, he sent him back to the ground and did not let him get up. Under the deluge of blows, referee Marc Goddard finally intervened, 0'49 from the end, to close the fight with the victory of the 32-year-old UFC champion.

Unhappy to have been arrested, Colby Covington, convinced that he could resist the avalanche of blows from Kamaru Usman, attacked the referee on social networks. The Nigerian champion did not shy away from his pleasure. In the octagon, he spoke, equipped with a microphone: " I have heard for weeks, months since the fight is signed, people say '' Colby is in his head, Colby, Colby that, he's going to lose his breath and be too emotional. '' I'll tell you guys, the reason I'm the best in the world is because my mind is stronger than anyone in this category. "

Kamaru Usman celebrates his victory against Colby Covington, defeated by technical knockout on December 14, 2019. Stephen R. Sylvanie / Reuters

Brilliant winner in his first title defense, Kamaru Usman still saluted his defeated opponent, calling him " tough " and conceding that he had to work to cope with his pressure at certain moments of the fight. " But like I said, my mind is stronger than all these guys, " insisted the reigning welterweight, like his compatriot Israel Adesanya in the middleweight. Later, he dedicated this victory " to the world, for love and unity ", echoing his previous remarks when he confided that this fight would be " for each migrant who has set foot in this country ". A final blow, verbal this time, to Colby Covington, a fervent supporter of US President Donald Trump.