UFC 268 took off in the famous MGM arena, and it was another fantastic event! All eyes were on the main event between Usman and Covington, and the hype got real as the fight drew closer. There was a lot of trash-talking involved even before the fight. Both fighters wanted to destroy each other.
But the co-main event was no less. Zhang Weili was looking to get the strawweight title back after losing Thug Rose Namajunas in the first fight.
The other matches also lived up to the expectations, and as usual, it was another fantastic UFC fight night! So here’s how everything went down at the Madison Square Garden Arena in New York.
The main card
Apart from the co-main event and main event, the main card had some fantastic matchups. Justin Gaethje returned to the octagon and took on Michael Chandler, and the fans loved what they saw. It was spectacular, and Gaethje won via unanimous decision. Shane Burgos also defeated Billy Quarantillo via unanimous decision, and Marlon Vera defeated the legendary Frankie Edgar via knockout with a spectacular front kick to the chin.
The co-main event
After winning the strawweight title from Zhang Weili, this was the first title defense for Rose Namajunas. A head kick dropped Weili in the first fight, and there were some controversial moments because Weili wasn’t convinced of the stoppage. But that led up to the second meeting between the two fighters, and it promised to be a killer matchup.
Both fighters made their way into the cage. Namajunas got the crowd behind her back, and the first round kicked off. Both fighters took a cautious approach while keeping their distance. Weili started landing some excellent leg kicks and, as the fight progressed, took down the Champ. But Rose quickly got up before further damage.
Weili kept herself busy in the second round, landing some excellent shots. Namajunas also landed a couple of her own. But a missed kick to the head saw her on the mat again. But she countered the clinches well, and Weili couldn’t do much. The third and fourth rounds also saw something similar. But both fighters kept throwing shots. Rose got busier as the rounds progressed.
In the fifth round, the Champ took Weili down early and controlled the fight. Weili couldn’t capitalize on it, and the round ended with the Champ on top. Although the fight was close, Rose Namajunas retained her title with a split decision win.
The main event
Usman Vs. Covington 2 had everyone excited. They made their entrance into the octagon, and both fighters looked calm and composed. The first round didn’t see a lot of action from both the fighters. Covington didn’t throw a lot of strikes which seemed odd given his style. On the other hand, Usman did pretty much the same, but the strikes he landed were more significant and calculated. The Champ made the first take-down attempt taking Colby by surprise, but he got back up quickly.
Round two was all Usman. Things got a little busier with the two fighters with kicks and body shots. The Champ kept landing his jabs and dropped Colby with a clean shot towards the end of the round. As he scrambled to recover and get back up, he landed another that dropped him. At this point, Colby went for the legs of Usman, which was an intelligent move to recover.
Rounds three and four went Covington’s way. He’s a tough fighter, and he showed it with how he recovered from the two knockdowns. He successfully landed more clean shots and even got Usman wobbly on some occasions. But the Champ did land some of his shots and kept him at bay when Covington kept the pressure.
Usman knew what he had to do in the final round, and he executed his game plan perfectly like a true champ. He made more take-down attempts and continued to stay composed and pick his shots. But Covington also fired back and forth, and the round was very close. In the end, Usman did enough to defend his title for the fifth time. A unanimous decision saw him retain the welterweight belt and arguably one of the best fighters in the world at present.
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