UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman had a fair warning to challenger Colby Covington: if you’ve not studied up, you’re going to get dropped.
There was no physical altercation when the pair stared each other down after the official weigh-in, as there had been 24 hours ago.
“Tomorrow night, live on pay-per-view, I’m going to beat the brakes off Marty, I’m going to become undisputed champion,” Covington said.
“I’m jumping on the same jet back to Miami as pound-for-pound the best fighter to ever to do it.”
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It was a healthy mixture of boos and cheers for the controversial challenger, before a surprisingly pro-Usman crowd made some noise for the champion.
“I’m blessed to be in this position, to be able to deliver another performance like we did the first time.
“If he did his homework, it’s going to be an amazing fight. But if he didn’t, I’m gonna put his bitch ass away early.”
Covington’s harsh words for Usman ahead of UFC 268 showdown
Usman won the first fight via a knockout in the fifth round, taking great pleasure in breaking his hated rival’s jaw.
Covington told Wide World of Sports earlier in the week that he had evolved as a fighter since that loss in 2019, and the result would be very different.
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“You’re definitely going to see a more well-rounded fight set,” he said.
“I’m going to push him to deeper waters and the more he has to wrestle, the more tired he’ll get and then I’ll break him.”
A stacked card in New York City will also see Rose Namajunas defend her strawweight title against Zhang Weili, and a potential fight of the year contender between Justin Gaethje and Michael Chandler.