- Kamaru Usman has -310 odds to defend his welterweight belt against Colby Covington.
- Rose Namajunas and Weili Zhang both have a -110 betting line in their highly anticipated rematch.
- Justin Gaethje is a -210 betting favorite over Michael Chandler.
NEW YORK – The UFC will be making its return to Madison Square Garden for the first time in two years for UFC 268. The card has multiple title fights and apparent No. 1 contender matches as well.
Kamaru Usman Vs. Colby Covington: Welterweight Title Fight
Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington will fight one another for the second time as they compete for the championship belt in the welterweight division. Despite the first fight being close on the judges’ scorecards, online sportsbooks favor Usman by a sizable margin.
Usman vs Covington Moneyline Odds
- Kamaru Usman -310
- Colby Covington +240
The first time the two fought, the entire fight played out on the feet despite the two being classified as wrestlers. Usman landed 175 of his 360 significant strikes while Covington landed 143 of his 395 significant strikes.
Usman ended up finishing the fight by TKO in the fifth round.
Usman, while being one of the best wrestlers the UFC has ever seen, has put on a striking clinic his last two fights by knocking out Gilbert Burns and Jorge Masvidal.
While it sounds disrespectful, Covington is the dollar store version of Usman, just slightly worse at all aspects of the game other than maybe work rate.
Usman lands 0.51 more significant strikes per minute while absorbing 0.46 less significant strikes per minute. Covington’s greatest strength, his takedowns, are also offset by Usman’s takedown defense as he’s never been taken down in his UFC career.
Rose Namajunas Vs. Weili Zhang: Women’s Strawweight Title Fight
Rose Namajunas will defend her belt against the woman she won it from, Weili Zhang. In their first meeting, Namajunas landed a highlight-reel knockout with a head kick. UFC betting sites have the fight as a pick ‘em.
Namajunas vs Zhang Moneyline Odds
- Rose Namajunas -110
- Weili Zhang -110
Zhang has the better striking numbers with her 6.36 significant strikes landed per minute and 4.42 significant strikes absorbed per minute in comparison to Namajunas’ 4.13 significant strikes landed and 3.99 significant strikes absorbed per minute.
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However, Namajunas is a better grappler as she averaged 1.89 takedowns per 15 minutes on 53% takedown accuracy. Zhang does have a 100% takedown defense but only lands 1.24 takedowns per 15 minutes on 23% accuracy.
The numbers say the knockout might have been a fluke, but that question will be answered on Saturday.
Justin Gaethje Vs. Michael Chandler: No. 1 Lightweight Contender
The winner of the fight between Justin Gaethje and Michael Chandler will likely be next in line for a lightweight title shot against the winner of Dustin Poirier and Charles Oliveira. Sports betting sites are giving Gaethje a moderate advantage.
Gaethje vs Chandler Moneyline Odds
- Justin Gaethje -210
- Michael Chandler +170
Chandler is a Bellator legend who came over to the UFC, earned a first-round finish over Dan Hooker and got a shot at the title which he ended up losing. He’s a wrestler at his core but has shown the ability to knock out opponents on his feet as well.
Gaethje is a striker who loves engaging in brawls. He lands 7.46 and absorbs 7.99 significant strikes per minute. He has a wrestling background but almost never used it in an MMA match.
He clearly has the advantage on the feet but likely won’t see much success if the fight hits the mat.
The main card is set for 10 p.m. EST on Saturday and can be bought on PPV through the ESPN+ app.
Nick got involved with the world of sports at a young age and never turned his back on it. He graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Broadcast/Journalism. In his free time, you can catch him at the bottom of the leaderboards on any video game he’s playing.