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|(C) Kamaru Usman||-320
|(C) Rose Namajunas||+105
(C) Kamaru Usman vs Colby Covington – Welterweight Championship
Kamaru Usman (-320)
(C) Rose Namajunas vs Zhang Weili – Women’s Strawweight Championship
Zhang Weili (-125)
Shane Burgos vs Billy Quarantillo – Featherweight Division
Shane Burgos (-200)
Frankie Edgar vs Marlon Vera – Bantamweight Division
Marlon Vera (-170)
Justin Gaethje vs Michael Chandler – Lightweight Division
Justin Gaethje (-210)
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|Kamaru Usman||TALE OF THE TAPE||Colby Covington|
|6 ft.||Height||5 ft. 11 in.|
|76 in.||Reach||72 in.|
A rematch two years in the making is finally here. Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman steps into the cage once more with top welterweight contender Colby Covington. These two have not met in the cage since their first battle, which occurred in late 2019 at UFC 245.
It was Usman who came out on top in their first fight, earning the TKO win over Covington in the fifth and final round. A rematch has been rumored ever since but scheduling conflicts and injuries have constantly been the hold-up – until now.
Since the first fight, the champion has fought and defended his title three more times and he has looked more and more impressive every time he steps into the octagon. The challenger, on the other hand, has fought only once in the past two years that came in the form of a dominant win over the former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley.
Although both fighters are known for their impressive wrestling credentials, the first fight between the two was a striking war, with the fight taking place entirely on the feet. Should the second fight play out in the same way, then it is the champion who will be the one to watch as he will have a four-inch reach advantage over Covington.
Should the fight go to the ground, it is Covington with the higher wrestling skills – having wrestled NCAA division I while Usman wrestled in Division II. However, Usman also boasts a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
The champion is favored to win the bout Saturday night and for good reason. But there is no question that Usman’s toughest challenge in the octagon to date was his first bout against Covington. This one should be fireworks.
|Rose Namajunas||TALE OF THE TAPE||Zhang Weili|
|5 ft. 5 in.||Height||5 ft. 4 in.|
|65 in.||Reach||63 in.|
Saturday night will showcase the immediate rematch for the women’s strawweight title between Rose Namajunas and Zhang Weili – only this time the roles have been reversed.
Weili entered the first bout at UFC 261 this past April as the champion but was knocked out by Namajunas in under two minutes by a first-round head kick. The win for Namajunas marked the start of her second run with the strawweight title.
Weili was riding a 21-fight winning streak heading into the first fight with Namajunas, including five straight wins in the UFC. Namajunas entered the cage in their first bout having just avenged her KO loss to Jessica Andrade.
Namajunas, the two-time champion, holds black belts in both taekwondo and karate and a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Her opponent holds a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and is known for her muay thai abilities that she works on at the Black Tiger Fight Club in her home country of China.
Both women hold wins over one of the greatest strawweight fighters of all-time – Joanna Jedrzejczyk. One is the champion and one is ranked as the number one women’s strawweight in the world.
When these two women enter the octagon Saturday night, it will be the champion, Thug Rose, who will be standing one inch taller and who will have a two-inch reach advantage.
However, it is the former champion, Zhang Weili, who is marked as the -125 favorite.
|Shane Burgos||TALE OF THE TAPE||Billy Quarantillo|
|5 ft. 11 in.||Height||5 ft. 10 in.|
|75.5 in.||Reach||70 in.|
Despite losing his last two fights, Shane Burgos is coming off of back-to-back Fight of the night honors and always puts on a show. In fact, Burgos’ loss to Josh Emmett in 2020 was considered one of the best fights of the year.
Burgos enters the cage Saturday night with a man who is 1-1 in his last two fights. Billy Quarantillo was riding an eight-fight winning streak before being defeated at the hands of Gavin Tucker last December. He has fought once more since that loss, defeating Gabriel Benitez via third-round TKO this past summer.
Burgos, ranked 14th in the featherweight division, holds a black belt in Tiger Schulmann MMA. Quarantillo sits just outside the top-15 rankings but is a former King of the Cage lightweight champion and he holds a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
These two fighters are only separated by two years of age and one-inch of height, but it will be Shane Burgos who will enjoy a significant 5.5-inch reach advantage in the octagon when these two face off.
Burgos has the edge as a -200 favorite.
|Frankie Edgar||TALE OF THE TAPE||Marlon Vera|
|5 ft. 6 in.||Height||5 ft. 8 in.|
|68 in.||Reach||70.5 in.|
Frankie Edgar is no stranger to big fights. The former lightweight champion defended his title twice, fought for the title again after losing it, and then fought for the featherweight title three times. He now finds himself attempting a run at the bantamweight title – a division in which he is currently ranked eight-overall.
However, Edgar is coming off of a devastating first-round knockout loss to Cory Sandhagen which took place this past February. His opponent Marlon Vera is coming off of a Fight of the Night decision win over Davey Grant. That fight took place this past June.
Always known for his grappling and boxing, Frankie Edgar boasts NCAA division I wrestling credentials and holds a first-degree black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
His opponent Vera also holds a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Vera will also stand two inches taller than Edgar and have a 2.5-inch reach advantage in the fight.
Vera is currently ranked at number-13 in the UFC bantamweight division. He is the betting favorite over Edgar, who is just 1-1 in the division since moving down to 135-pounds last August.
|Justin Gaethje||TALE OF THE TAPE||Michael Chandler|
|5 ft. 11 in.||Height||5 ft. 9 in.|
|70 in.||Reach||71 in.|
This is the kind of battle you want to see kick off a main card, as both fighters are former champions in the mixed martial arts world and both are former title challengers for the undisputed UFC lightweight championship.
Gaethje, a former World Series of Fighting lightweight champion, was undefeated at 17-0 when he signed with the UFC promotion. He won his debut against Michael Johnson by TKO before suffering his first (and second) loss to Eddie Alvarez (and later to Dustin Poirier).
He bounced back by winning his next four straight, capturing the interim lightweight title in the process. He last fought against undisputed lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov last October, succumbing to a second-round triangle choke submission. He has not fought since.
Michael Chandler is a former three-time Bellator lightweight champion and he made his UFC debut earlier this year at UFC 257 against Dan Hooker – whom he defeated via first-round TKO – earning him a performance of the night bonus.
He was fast-tracked to a lightweight title shot against Charles Oliveira after Khabib unexpectedly retired from the sport and vacated the title after his fight with Gaethje. After coming close to securing a first-round TKO victory, Chandler was ultimately defeated via second-round TKO at UFC 262 this past May.
This will be Chandler’s third fight of 2021 and, despite being the shorter man, he will have a one-inch reach advantage in the striking department.
Both men boast NCAA division I wrestling credentials but it’s Gaethje who is also known for his heavy hands and ability to take punishment. Ergo, it is Gaethje who the oddsmakers have set as the -210 favorite to win.
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|UFC 268 Information|
|Event||UFC 268: Usman vs Covington 2|
|Location||Madison Square Garden, New York, NY|
|Time||Saturday, November 6, 10PM EST|
|How to watch||PPV, UFC Fight Pass, ESPN+|
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Ryan Bristlon is a Canadian writer currently residing in Hamilton, Ontario. He studied print and broadcast journalism at Humber College and has been a lifelong fan of the sport of hockey and the NHL.
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