UFC 268 predictions — Kamaru Usman vs. Colby Covington 2: Battle card, skilled picks, prelims, odds

The UFC returns to New York Metropolis on Saturday evening for a UFC 268 card headlined by one of the anticipated fights of the yr. Headlining the motion from Madison Sq. Backyard is a welterweight title rematch between champion Kamaru Usman and rival Colby Covington.

Usman gained the primary assembly between the pair at UFC 245 in December 2019, scoring a fifth-round TKO. The combat was stuffed with back-and-forth motion earlier than Usman lastly broke Covington down, scoring a number of knockdowns and eventually forcing the referee to step in with simply 50 seconds left within the bout. Covington has since claimed a conspiracy towards him involving the referee dishonest him out of a victory with the “fast stoppage.”

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Plus, the ladies’s strawweight title is on the road as soon as extra when champion Rose Namajunas faces off with Weili Zhang in a rematch from April. Namajunas surprised many — together with herself — with a vicious first-round knockout to safe her second reign as champion — the primary girl to ever accomplish that feat in UFC. Now, Zhang, who noticed her 20-fight win streak finish, seems to be to avenge simply the second lack of her profession.

With a lot occurring on Saturday evening, let’s take a more in-depth take a look at the total combat card with the newest odds from Caesars Sportsbook earlier than we get to our workers predictions and picks for the PPV portion of the festivities.

UFC 268 combat card, odds

  • Kamaru Usman (c) -310 vs. Colby Covington +250, welterweight championship
  • Weili Zhang -125 vs. Rose Namajunas (c) +105, ladies’s strawweight championship
  • Marlon Vera -160 vs. Frankie Edgar +135, bantamweight
  • Shane Burgos -195 vs. Billy Quarantillo +165, featherweight
  • Justin Gaethje -210 vs. Michael Chandler +175, light-weight
  • Alex Pereira -260 vs. Andreas Michailids +210, middleweight
  • Bobby Inexperienced -190 vs. Al Iaquinta +160, light-weight
  • Phil Hawes -330 vs. Chris Curtis +260, middleweight
  • Nassourdine Imavov -120 vs. Edmen Shahbazyan +100, middleweight
  • Ian Garry -400 vs. Jordan Williams +310, welterweight
  • Gian Villante -130 vs. Chris Barnett +110, heavyweight
  • Dustin Jacoby -380 vs. John Allan +300, gentle heavyweight
  • Melsik Baghdasaryan -400 vs. Bruno Souza +310, featherweight
  • Ode Osbourne -190 vs. CJ Vergara +160, flyweight

With such a large fundamental occasion on faucet, the crew at CBS Sports activities went forward with predictions and picks for the principle card. Listed below are your decide makers: Brent Brookhouse (Fight sports activities author), Brian Campbell (Fight sports activities author, co-host of “Morning Kombat”), Matthew Coca (producer), Jack Crosby (editor), Michael Mormile (producer) and Brandon Clever (senior editor).

UFC 268 picks, predictions

Usman (c) vs. Covington Usman Usman Usman Usman Usman Usman
Namajunas (c) vs. Zhang Zhang Zhang Namajunas Namajunas Namajunas Zhang
Vera vs. Edgar Vera Vera Edgar Vera Edgar Vera
Burgos vs. Quarantillo Burgos Quarantillo Burgos Quarantillo Quarantillo Burgos
Gaethje vs. Chandler Gaethje Gaethje Gaethje Chandler Gaethje Gaethje
Information so far (2021) 37-18 37-18 37-18 37-18 36-19 32-23

Campbell on why Usman will win: For as shut as their first combat was in 2019, with Usman scoring a fifth-round TKO, the champion has grown leaps and bounds from a placing perspective within the aftermath. His new relationship with coach Trevor Wittman has allowed Usman to prosper, fueling stoppage wins over Gilbert Burns and Jorge Masvidal in their very own rematch. Covington has an amazing motor and is able to holding his personal in sure spots. However until he finds unusual success in holding Usman down, the champion is just too good to do something however cease him sooner. 

Brookhouse on why Usman will win: Usman has finished nothing however develop as a fighter in his three outings because the first assembly with Covington. He can now win a combat by way of a grinding grappling-first method that units up his placing or by way of being a technical and highly effective striker who has the wrestling sport in his again pocket. Since shedding to Usman, Covington has fought as soon as, beating up a pale Tyron Woodley. Covington continues to be harmful, with a strain preventing fashion that he executes in addition to anybody within the sport. However his energy is not an amazing asset and if he was getting harm by Usman in 2019, it is solely going to be worse towards the brand new and improved model of the champion. I am anticipating this to be a surprisingly fast and dominant efficiency from Usman.

Campbell on why Zhang will win: The one downside of Namajunas’ first-round knockout of Zhang by way of thunderous head kick of their first assembly was that we had been by no means capable of correctly see simply how properly these two match up towards one different and which fighter would possibly come out with the sting. Like Namajunas’ title rematch with former champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk, one has to count on an extended and extra aggressive rematch this time. The truth that Zhang has labored so intently all through coaching camp with Henry Cejudo ought to go a good distance in serving to her time her takedown makes an attempt in hope of a extra balanced effort. If Zhang can neutralize Namajunas’ kickboxing by touchdown some energy photographs of her personal and mixing in management time on prime, a trilogy bout between these two elite strawweights is perhaps within the playing cards. 

Brookhouse on why Vera will win: Edgar has loved an amazing profession however the brand new life he hoped to search out at 135 kilos has not likely materialized. Edgar’s velocity and motion are each compromised by his age and the truth that bantamweight is a a lot quicker division basically. Vera is a beatable fighter, sure, however he is harmful within the placing and grappling finish of issues, which means there is no clear or simple path to victory for Edgar. As an alternative, Vera ought to have the ability to break down Edgar for the stoppage or to take a fairly clear determination.

Campbell on why Gaethje will win: For so long as this one lasts, the expectations must be nothing however violence and dramatic turns of momentum. Even with a possible title shot at stake, neither of those two warriors must be anticipated to do something however advance ahead. Chandler got here as shut as one can to successful the vacant title left behind by a retired Khabib Nurmagomedov when he badly harm Charles Oliveira earlier than being stopped shortly after. Gaethje isn’t solely extra sturdy ought to this turn out to be the battle most count on it to be, he may also be the extra damaging striker between the 2.

Clever on why Gaethje will win: The extra you take a look at this combat, the more durable it’s to discover a path to victory for Chandler. Gaethje is simply higher than him in each class, together with harmful energy and iron chin. Except Chandler is ready to bait out the outdated Gaethje, who obtained reckless in large moments as soon as rocked, count on “the Spotlight” to choose up one other one to kick off this wild PPV occasion in New York Metropolis. 

Who wins Usman vs. Covington 2? And what different picks do it’s worthwhile to see for a parlay with a payout of higher than 8/1 ? Go to SportsLine now to get detailed prime picks on UFC 268, all from the insider who’s up almost $9,200 on MMA picks up to now yr, and discover out.

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