The UFC has a stacked card on the books for Saturday at Madison Square Garden. At the top of that event — UFC 268 — is a rematch between welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington.
The first time these two met, Usman scored a late knockout to retain his 170-pound crown. The fight was up for grabs on the scorecards before Usman took the judges out of the equation at the 4:10 mark of the fifth and final round.
Since that bout, which headlined UFC 245, Usman has scored a decision over Jorge Masvidal, a TKO over Gilbert Burns and a knockout of Masvidal in defense of his UFC crown. Covington has not been nearly as active as the champion. His sole fight since his loss to Usman was a September 2020 TKO win over former champion Tyron Woodley, who was on a two-fight losing skid heading into his matchup against Covington.
One of the big questions entering this rematch is if Covington has developed new wrinkles in his game. Usman has progressed as a fighter since the first meeting between these two. Not only has the champion become a better overall mixed martial artist, but he has gained confidence in his abilities. The same cannot be said of Covington, who has not been active since his 2019 setback to Usman.
Covington did not test Usman’s defensive wrestling skill in the first fight, that could change in the rematch. Covington is tied for second for most takedowns in the UFC welterweight division with 61. On the other side of that equation, Usman ranks first in takedown defense in UFC history. He has never been taken down.
Here is a look at how the two competitors match up in key stats ahead of UFC 268. UFC 268 takes place on Saturday, November 6 from Madison Square Garden in New York City. The main card streams on ESPN+ pay-per-view following prelims on ESPNews and ESPN+.
UFC 268: Usman vs Covington
|Sig. Strikes Landed Per Min.||4.63||4.12|
|Strikes Absorbed Per Minute||2.4||2.86|
|Takedown Avg./15 min||3.27||4.61|
|Submission Average Per 15 min||0.1||0.1|