UFC champ Kamaru Usman says fans hate Colby Covington so much, he's gotten THOUSANDS of messages begging him to actually KILL the UFC star when they square off in the Octagon.
"I have over thousands of messages on Instagram of people saying, 'Bro, you gotta kill this dude,'" Kamaru tells TMZ Sports ... "It's not, 'beat him.' It's 'Kill this guy. Kill him for us.'"
Usman thinks Colby has just rubbed people the wrong way with all of his outside-the-Octagon antics ... which includes trashing Brazilians as "filthy animals" and riding hard for Donald Trump.
"It not only rubs people the wrong way, it makes people wanna punch you in the face," Usman says ... "And, I'm talking women and children, grandmas! Not just fighters."
"He calls himself 'The People's Champ' but you can't be with the people because the people want to harm you! You have to walk around with security each and every where you go because they want to HARM you, not because they LOVE you."
Of course, Kamaru and Colby seem to be on a collision course to fight each other to unify the UFC welterweight title.
Kamaru says he REALLY wants to fight Colby before the end of the year -- and says their impending fight is simply "God's will."
The two have gone after each in public before -- we got video of Kamaru confronting Colby outside of a Vegas buffet back in March.
Kamaru swears the rivalry is real and not some pre-orchestrated stunt to sell their fight.