Kamaru Usman makes prediction for Colby Covington vs Jorge Masvidal grudge fight
Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman has backed Colby Covington to defeat Jorge Masvidal in their planned bout at UFC 272 in March.
Usman is currently the title holder in the division and has just beaten Covington in his previous outing in November with a points decision in a tough test.
Now 'Chaos' will look to maintain his status as the leading contender to Usman's crown with a victory over bitter rival Masvidal later this year.
The Nigerian has backed the No.1 ranked star to score victory posting a Snapchat story in response to a fan with : "Colby".
Usman has struggled in two gruelling tests against Covington with the Nigerian scoring a late stoppage in their opening meeting.
In his previous outing Usman was forced to take the contest the distance against Covington who came on strong in the later rounds despite falling to a narrow points defeat.
The 34-year-old held a bitter rivalry with Covington throughout their meetings but showed an element of respect after their sensational war at UFC 268.
Usman had much more joy against Masvidal dominating their opening meeting with his elite wrestling and clinch work.
Before the Nigerian scored a statement second round stoppage against 'Gamebred' to leave Masvidal needing a resurgence to return to the pinnacle of the division.
The fight between Covington and Masvidal will take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and will be the first non-title main event to headline a pay-per-view without Conor McGregor or Nate Diaz since 2015.
Masvidal initiated the contact between the pair on social media posting on Twitter that it was the fourth occasion Covington had rejected his advances to stage a fight.
However the pair used to be close as best friends during their time emerging as stars in the UFC.
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But relations turned sour with Covington claiming that it became hard to be friends as they continued their separate pursuits at world glory in the welterweight division.
Masvidal was set to face Leon Edwards but was forced to withdraw with a late notice injury.
He will now look for his first win with the promotion since 2019 when he was crowned 'BMF' champion after beating Diaz.
But Covington is determined to settle their dispute in the cage and has branded his rival a "clown" to heat up the potential meeting.
"I just want to get locked in a cage with this clown. I just want to be locked in a cage with Jorge 'Street Judas' Masvidal more than I want anything in the world," Covington told Submission Radio.
"That dude needs to be for all the things he said about me, but if he doesn't show up that's ok too, he loses all that street cred and respect in the fighting community.
"He's not a real fighter, that guy's a fragile little b****. He's a clown, a fake and a Judas. He turned his back on me for no reason and this is all his fault."
"I'm definitely taking at least five years off of his life. This beef is more personal and more hatred than I've ever had for anything in my entire life."