Covington, who went into the contest as public enemy No.1, suffered a fifth-round TKO loss to Africa’s first UFC champion, whom he pushed to his absolute limits.
The fight was a truly thrilling one, with both men showcasing their expert striking instead of their renowned wrestling skills.
Covington fought the majority of the contest with a broken jaw, which Usman inflicted on him with a nasty straight left at the end of the second round.
And the injury prompted the UFC’s medical team to immediately send him to the hospital after an initial check-up.
UFC president Dana was impressed by the heart Covington showcased in his ill-fated pursuit of the undisputed 170lb title and gave him his dues in the post-fight press conference.
He said: “To have a broken jaw in almost the second or third round and almost finish the fight is pretty fight.
“So for as big as his mouth is and all the stuff that he talks, the guy can fight. He’s talented and he’s tough.
“He came in here with a game plan tonight.