The UFC returns to Madison Square Garden this weekend for UFC 268 and we are being treated to one of the best cards of the year.
Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington renew their rivalry and will enter the octagon for the second time together as will Rose Namajunas and Weili Zhang.
There’s no way Justin Gaethje and Michael Chandler is not an absolute banger and our full UFC 268 Tips & Preview can be read below.
It’s been a while since we had a Main Event where the fighters genuinely disliked each other.
We certainly get that here.
Kamaru Usman is now ranked the pound-for-pound #1 fighter in the UFC, but it was in just his first title defence that he faced his toughest challenge.
He finished Colby Covington in the fifth round having broken his jaw earlier in the fight and has since gone on to defend his belt four times.
Covington reinvented himself as the titular bad guy of the UFC and while the general public hasn’t liked it, it has clearly worked for him from a business point of view.
His only loss in his last nine fights has been to Usman and he earns another shot at the title with just one win against a Tyron Woodley who is clearly past his prime.
Covington was not happy with the stoppage in their first fight, and I tend to agree with him if I’m being honest and putting any bias aside.
When the referee waved the fight off, Covington looked to be doing enough with both arms wrapped around Usman’s legs and what an interesting decision it would have been should the fight have lasted another minute.
If that fight goes the distance and either Covington loses a tight decision or wins the fight, what odds would we be getting in their second encounter?
It certainly wouldn’t be this one sided in betting and that is the reason I simply have to back Covington at the price.
Rose Namajunas has incredibly fought for a UFC title in five of her 11 fights inside the UFC.
She won the UFC Strawweight title when beating Joanna Jedrzejczyk in November 2017 before defending it against the same woman six months later.
She was dropped on her head against Jess Andrade in her next fight but avenged that loss a year later.
In her most impressive win to date she beat Weili Zhang via a vicious head kick in the first round back in April.
Zhang had won 20 fights in a row leading into her title fight with Namajunas and it’s safe to say nothing went to plan for her that night in Jacksonville.
She has incredible strength in her striking for this division which has been evident throughout her UFC career but she is a very well rounded mixed martial artist.
I’m tipping this will be a war and although I’m torn about who wins the fight, but it looks like the judges will be needed this time.
What an absolute cracker of a brawl we have here!
Two high level mixed martial artists who are dangerous wherever the fight goes.
Former Bellator Lightweight champ Michael Chandler took his opportunity when making his debut in the premium promotion in the world when he knocked out Dan Hooker in the first round.
He surprisingly then got a title fight straight away but was no match for Charles Oliveira in May.
The popular opinion for a long time of Justin Gaethje was that he was a brawler but his record over a long period of time would suggest this opinion doesn’t do him justice.
He is an incredible wrestler with extremely heavy hands which makes him a very tough opponent for anyone.
He also doesn’t fight that often! He’s had just eight fights since he made his UFC debut in 2017.
These two actually have very similar styles which makes this a really interesting fight and UFC fans are sure to come out the real winner.
Both of these men clearly have the ability to end the fight early but there is plenty of value for them to cancel each other out and go the three rounds.