By Tyler Norris
One of the most epic rivalries in UFC history will be reignited on Saturday, Nov. 6 at UFC 268 inside of Madison Square Garden in New York City. Welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman, looks to defend his strap for the fifth consecutive time, and remain undefeated inside the UFC as he squares off against Colby Covington in this heated rematch. Covington, Usman’s first title defense, is looking to rewrite the script with his hand raised while the infamous Bruce Buffer announces, “And New!” as the belt is wrapped around his waist. Back at UFC 245 in December, 2019, these two put on the fight of the night that was driven by their deep hatred for one another. The storyline came to an end when referee Marc Goddard called a stop to the fight in the fifth round of the contest with Usman walking away victorious. Covington claimed the stoppage came early, but controversy aside, Covington has been the only significant threat to Usman losing the title.
Only fighting once since their fight in 2019, Covington wants to leave no doubt that he sits alone atop the Welterweight throne after UFC 268. The ongoing rivalry between these two combatants is shaping the rematch as a potential Fight of the Year candidate for 2021. “The hatred between Kamaru and Colby reminds me of the rivalry of Chuck Lidell and Tito Ortiz back in the day, these two guys can’t stand each other, and that always makes for a great fight in the UFC,” said Drake Miller, UFC superfan.
Alongside this colossal clash at Welterweight, the Co-main event features a rematch for the Women’s Strawweight championship between ‘Thug’ Rose Namajunas and Zhang Weili, as well as a potential number one contender match in the Lightweight division between Justin Gaethje and Michael Chandler. Namajunas, who captured the title from Weili back at UFC 261, wants to prove that the head kick knockout in the first round was no fluke and assert herself back at the top of the Strawweight division she once reigned. Weili on the other hand, who has dominated every opponent she has faced prior to Namajunas, has switched training camps since the loss in hope of reclaiming her title.
In the Lightweight division, the match between two of the top five fighters in the division is Gaethje and Chandler, both of whom are fighting for another chance at the title. Gaethje, who hasn’t fought since his Lightweight title loss to former champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, is hungry for another chance to prove he’s the best in the division. Chandler on the other hand, had his chance to win the Interim belt back in May when he lost to current champion Charles Olivera shortly after his signing from Bellator MMA.
This fight is sure to bring fireworks for the Lightweight division. “I’m ready for violence” said Michael Chandler as he prepares for this bout. This card is absolutely stacked with big names and is shaping up to be one of the best cards of the year.