UFC 268 Usman vs Covington II Picks: Nigerian Nightmare Strikes Again

Kamaru Usman has his welterweight title on the line for a fifth time Saturday, again defending it against Colby Covington. Found out if we see a different result than the first fight between these two in our Usman vs. Covington II picks.

Last Updated: Nov 6, 2021 7:42 PM ET Read Time: 5 min

MMA bettors have a great fight card to look forward to for a second consecutive week with UFC 268 betting on November 6. Saturday's card is headlined by a welterweight title fight between Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington in a rematch of Usman's previous defense.

Usman's fifth title defense has the champ as a -303 UFC betting odds favorite, with Covington a +230 underdog. 

Here are our best free UFC 268: Usman vs. Covington 2 picks and predictions for Saturday, November 6 from the historic Madison Square Garden in New York.

Usman vs Covington II fight odds

Live odds courtesy of the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

Usman vs Covington II method of victory odds

Method of Victory Kamaru Usman Colby Covington
To win by KO/TKO +155 +700
To win by Points +190 +500
To win by Submission +1,200 +1,600
Draw +5,000 +5,000

Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook as of November 1, 2021.

Usman vs Covington II picks

Click on the pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Usman vs Covington II betting preview

Kamaru Usman enters UFC 268 on an 18-fight winning streak and is a perfect 14-0 in the octagon. He's fresh off his fourth successful title defense after knocking out Jorge Masvidal in April. Usman made his first title defense against Covington in December 2019 and ended up putting away the challenger late in the fifth round after a back-and-forth striking battle.

The "Nigerian Nightmare" began his career as a wrestling specialist and cardio machine but has developed into an impressive striker as well under renowned boxing coach Trevor Wittman.

Colby "Chaos" Covington bounced back from his loss to Usman with a fifth-round TKO victory over Tyron Woodley last September. The 33-year-old is 16-2 in his MMA career, including a record of 11-2 in the octagon.

A former NCAA All-American wrestler at Oregon State, Chaos is a high-volume striker that loves to push the pace and has the high-level cardio to back it up.

Usman vs Covington II tale of the tape

Kamaru Usman   Colby Covington
34 Age 33
6-foot Height 5-foot-11
170 lbs Weight 170 lbs
76 inches Reach 72 inches
19-1-0 (9 KO) Record 16-2-0 (3 KO)

Usman vs Covington II UFC prediction and betting picks

Often when two wrestling specialists face off the fight stays standing up and that was exactly what happened when these two first faced off, with neither attempting a takedown attempt.

Covington had his moments in the first two rounds of the bout but Usman began landing power shots and broke Chaos' jaw in the third round. From there, Usman poured it on and eventually dropped Covington twice in the fifth round before the referee waved the fight off. 

It's tough to see this fight go much differently this time around. We've only seen Covington in the octagon once since that first matchup, 14 months ago in a victory that hasn't aged well considering Woodley's steep decline. 

Usman on the other hand has shown significant strides in his striking after changing camps prior to his defense against Gilbert Burns in February. Usman knocked out Burns in the third round and then starched Jorge Masvidal at UFC 261 in April. 

Expect another stand-up affair between these two and expect Usman to pick up the W once again.

Covington showed plenty of toughness by fighting with that cracked jaw and almost making it to the finish line but Usman has shown even more stopping power in recent fights.

He knocked down Burns twice before finishing him with a flurry of punches on the ground at the beginning of the third round. Then he took on a striking specialist in Masvidal just two months later and sent him to the shadow realm with a highlight reel one-punch KO in the second round.

Usman now has three wins by KO/TKO in his last four fights and his explosive power seems to be getting better with age. 

Both of these guys have a history of decision wins but they also usually control their opponents with wrestling for long stretches of their fights. That likely won't be the case at UFC 268 and with the output and pressure of both fighters, it's tough to see this bout going the full 25 minutes. 

Keep in mind that they combined for 318 significant strikes in that first matchup (175-143 for Usman), including a whopping 219 strikes to the head. And that was with Covington compromised for the second half of the fight. Don't bet on this fight going the distance. 

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