UFC 268: Usman vs. Covington 2 – results and live analysis

UFC 268: Usman vs.  Covington 2 - results and live analysis

NEW YORK – Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington spoke to each other during a heated press conference Thursday, propelled by a conflict-hungry crowd. Usman pushed Covington during head-to-head, sending fans to another level of insanity.

There hasn’t been a big MMA show in New York City in two years, but today, Saturday, the big show returns to the Big Apple.

Usman defends his UFC welterweight title against Covington in the main event of UFC 268 at Madison Square Garden. The two fought at UFC 245 in December 2019 with Usman winning by fifth round TKO in what is considered one of the best championship fights in UFC history.

ESPN ranks Usman No. 1 on its pound-for-pound list. At welterweight, Usman is No. 1 and Covington is No. 3. On Saturday, Usman will look to add to his legacy as one of the best 170-pound fighters against Covington, who is trying to prove that Usman’s victory of two years ago it was a unique occurrence.

Usman (19-1), 34, has 14 consecutive UFC wins, the UFC’s second-longest streak behind Anderson Silva (16), who is considered one of the best of all time. Usman is coming off a second-round knockout victory over Jorge Masvidal at UFC 261 in April.

Buy UFC 268: Usman vs. Covington 2 here

Covington (16-2) has won eight of his last nine fights, with the only loss during that span was to Usman. He has not fought since a fifth-round TKO victory over Tyron Woodley in September 2020. Covington, 34, is the former interim UFC welterweight champion.

In the co-feature event, UFC women’s strawweight champion Rose Namajunas defends her title against former champion Zhang Weili. Namajunas (10-4), 29, stopped Zhang in the first round with a kick to the head at UFC 261. Zhang (21-2), the first ever Chinese-born UFC champion, had her winning streak of 21 fights for Namajunas seven months ago.

Also on the card, former interim UFC lightweight champion Justin Gaethje faces former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler in what could be a championship playoff. Additionally, former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar faces Ecuadorian Marlon “Chito” Vera in a bantamweight fight, and Al Iaquinta faces Bobby Green in a battle of fan-favorite lightweights.

Follow Brett Okamoto, Marc Raimondi and Jeff Wagenheim recapping all the action or watch the fights on ESPN + PPV.

Fight in progress

Lightweight: Al Iaquinta (14-6-1, 9-5 UFC, +155) vs. Bobby Green (27-12-1, 8-7-1 UFC, -180)


Middleweight: Chris Curtis (27-8, 1-0 UFC) defeats Phil Hawes (11-3, 3-1 UFC) by TKO in the first round

Middleweight: Nassourdine Imavov (11-3, 3-1 UFC,) defeats Edmen Shahbazyan (11-3, 4-3 UFC) by TKO in the second round

Frenchman Imavov was keen to take Shahbazyan’s neck, but ultimately settled for a TKO.

The 25-year-old middleweight repeatedly sought to secure a guillotine in the first two rounds against Shahbazyan, but was unable to secure the end. In the last minute of the second round, Imavov moved to a crucifix position and dropped his elbows until referee Keith Peterson stopped the fight at 4:42.

It was a decisive ending for a back and forth fight. Shahbazyan, who suffered his third straight loss, did well with early leg kicks and nearly secured his own second-round guillotine attempt. However, Imavov’s fight proved to be a step forward and it also had some success in boxing exchanges.

Shahbazyan entered 2020 on a wave of momentum, but has now lost to Derek Brunson, Jack Hermansson and Imavov. – Okamoto

Welterweight: Ian Garry (8-0, 1-0 UFC) defeats Jordan Williams (9-6, 0-3 UFC) by TKO

Undefeated Garry’s UFC debut wasn’t going so well. The 23-year-old Irishman’s face reddened after absorbing several blows as the final seconds of the first round ticked off time. Then Williams, who is 31 and from Englewood, Colorado, tried to cap the round with a final left hand. Failure.

Garry returned fire and did not miss. He stepped back to avoid the punch and unleashed a right counter that landed on goal and left Williams in his way. Referee Mike Beltran stepped in to declare him a knockout at 4:59.

Later, Garry talked about being a future champion with all the audacity of another Irish fighter. The former Cage Warriors champion even quoted Conor McGregor’s most famous line: “We are not here to participate; we are here to take control.”

Then Garry offered an addendum: “This is the takeover, Part 2″.

Heavyweight: Chris Barnett (22-7, 1-1 UFC) defeats Gian Villante (17-14, 7-11 UFC) by TKO in the second round

Barnett likely won’t win a fitness competition any time soon, but “Beast Boy” can put together a standout moment in the cage, that’s for sure.

Barnett dropped Villante with a spinning hook kick to the head and kept knocking him to the ground for a TKO victory at 2:23 of the second round. After the end, Barnett made a front jump and landed butt first on the mat in celebration. Barnett is the first UFC heavyweight fighter to win with a spinning kick, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

“My heel is killing me,” Barnett said after the fight. “My man’s head is like a block. My foot is on fire right now.”

During that interview, Barnett praised Villante, a New York native in his last UFC fight. Before the end, Barnett and Villante exchanged strong kicks to the body and legs for the better part of two rounds. Barnett said he thought he had to trade the action with something flashy since Villante was matching him kick for kick.

Barnett, 35, scored his first UFC win on Saturday. The Florida native, who was born in Spain, made his UFC debut in May after 12 years as a professional fighter in multiple disciplines around the world. The 36-year-old Villante lost four bouts in a row, the last three after moving from light heavyweight to heavyweight. – Raimondi

Light Heavyweight: Dustin Jacoby (16-5-1, 4-2-1 UFC) defeated John Allan (13-7 1 NC, 0-2 1NC UFC) by unanimous decision

Colorado’s Jacoby scored an easy scorecard win after a slow 15-minute adventure. The 33-year-old accepted the fight on short notice, but had no trouble attacking Allan with jabs and front kicks. However, Jacoby rarely threw anything behind the blows away, and it never seemed like Allan got hurt.

Despite being at a distinct disadvantage, Allan didn’t seem to have a backup plan or just wasn’t able to execute one. He continued to fight Jacoby from a distance and had very few moments of success offensively.

Jacoby remains undefeated in the UFC. He is 4-0-1 since signing with the promotion last year. – Okamoto

Men’s Featherweight: Melsik Baghdasaryan (7-1, 2-0 UFC) defeats Bruno Souza (10-2, 0-1 UFC) by unanimous decision

The night before the New York City Marathon, these two fighters covered miles, circling each other inside the cage for most of the 15 minutes. Baghdasaryan was in hot pursuit but couldn’t land much, but his leg kicks and occasional bursts were enough to get the nod 29-28 on all three scorecards.

For Baghdasaryan, 29, from Glendale, California, it was his seventh straight win, including his last two in the UFC. He was simply never able to cut through his elusive opponent’s cage.

Souza, a 25-year-old Brazilian fighting from Los Angeles, had his 10-fight winning streak halted in a fight in which he avoided major damage but did not mount much offense. – Wagenheim

Men’s Flyweight: Ode ‘Osbourne (10-4, 2-2 UFC) defeats CJ Vergara (9-3-1, 0-1 UFC) by unanimous decision

No, Osbourne did not end the fight in spectacular fashion. Vergara was up, landing in ground and pound Until the bell rang

But Osbourne did enough early on to get a unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) in the first fight at UFC 268. Osbourne landed the hardest shots in the first two rounds. In the first, he attacked Vergara with some solid combinations and that continued in the second with Osbourne landing a stealthy left hand. In the third, Osbourne started hot with combinations but seemed to tire and Vergara stole the momentum with a takedown and superior position.

Osbourne, 29, is now 2-2 in the UFC; is an alumnus of Dana White’s Contender Series. Vergara, 30, was making his UFC debut. He missed the weight by 1.4 pounds on Friday. – Raimondi


Welterweight Championship: Kamaru Usman (c) (19-1, 14-0 UFC, -310) vs. Colby Covington (16-2, 11-2 UFC, +250)
Strawweight Championship: Rose Namajunas (c) (11-4, 8-3 UFC, -105) vs. Zhang Weili (21-2, 5-1 UFC, -115)
Men’s Bantamweight: Frankie Edgar (23-9-1, 18-9-1 UFC, +135) vs. Marlon Vera (17-7-1, 11-6 UFC, -160)
Male Featherweight: Shane Burgos (13-3, 6-3 UFC, -195) vs. Billy Quarantillo (16-3, 4-1 UFC, +165)
Lightweight: Justin Gaethje (22-3, 5-3 UFC, -210) vs. Michael Chandler (22-6, 1-1 UFC, +175)
Middleweight: Alex Pereira (3-1, 0-0 UFC, -260) vs. Andreas Michailidis (13-4, 1-1 UFC, +210)
(c) = current champion / champion

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