Betting Preview: Kamaru Usman to confirm his status as UFC's best

Kamaru Usman to retain his title, Shane Burgos to pick up the win, and Michael Chandler to earn a shock victory

As the dust settles on UFC 267, the UFC's relentless schedule continues with another pay-per-view. While last weekend was headlined by the light heavyweights, for UFC 268, long-time welterweight adversaries Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington are on the marquee for a second time.

We're going to take you through our picks for the upcoming card...

Kamaru Usman vs Colby Covington

Usman

The main event of UFC 268 is the grudge match between Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington for the welterweight strap.

Kamaru Usman has been a relentless force since winning the ultimate fighter in 2015. The Nigerian fighter is yet to taste defeat for the global MMA leader - including a victory over Tyron Woodley to win the title in 2019.

Since winning the belt, Usman has been successful in all four defences of his belt. He holds a pair of victories over Jorge Masvidal (who rose to fame over his viral flying knee), Gilbert Burns and a win over his opponent on Saturday - Colby Covington.

His opponent on Saturday is the controversial Covington. The American has slowly risen through the UFC ranks. He won seven straight between 2016-2019 to earn his first shot at Usman, however, the Oregon native came up short.

After his knockout loss to Usman, Covington rebounded well with a victory over Tyron Woodley - a huge scalp considering Woodley was at the welterweight helm not so long ago. That victory earns him another title shot but he is an outsider for the weekend.

We're predicting that these two will cancel each other out in the wrestling aspect of the fight. Therefore, Usman's power advantage will be too much for Covington and if he doesn't get the knockout, he will edge him on the scorecard.

Shane Burgos vs Billy Quarantillo

It may not be the main or co-main event, but avid MMA fans will have their eyes on Shane Burgos against Billy Quarantillo. It has the potential to be the fight of the night and we think Shane Burgos will edge Quarantillo and pick up the victory.

Shane Burgos is the narrow favourite for the fight. These odds could surprise many as the New Yorker is on a two-fight losing streak, however, these two defeats have been by serial contenders in the featherweight division - Josh Emmett and Edson Barboza.

The man nicknamed "Hurricane" has proven his worth at featherweight during his three-fight winning streak between 2018-2019 and he should recapture the winning formula against Quarantilllo.

As for Quarantillo, he is coming into the fight on a better streak. The Gracie Tampa South prospect has been defeated once since entering the UFC and he most recently knocked out Gabriel Benitez in the third round.

However, Quarantillo hasn't faced the same level of competition as Burgos. Since his win on the contender series, he is yet to face anybody placed in the featherweight ranking and Burgos should be a level above for the Tampa fighter.

Justin Gaethje vs Michael Chandler

Chandler

UFC 268 is stacked with fight of the night contenders, and this trend continues with Justin Gaethje against Michael Chandler.

The favourite for the fight is Justin Gaethje, a fighter who guarantees fireworks but is hailed as one of the most durable fighters in the lightweight rankings. "The Highlight" suffered a two-fight losing streak earlier in his career but struck back to have a four-fight win streak over a two-year period.

His last fight snapped his run, but it was to the consensus greatest lightweight of all time - the 30-0 Khabib Nurmagamedov. Despite this loss, Gaethje has proven to be a danger in the division, and he tends to end his fights before the final bell.

As for Chandler, he has much less experience with the UFC with just two fights since joining the company - one win and one loss. He made his dream debut with the first-round knockout of Dan Hooker in January and lined himself up for a lightweight championship shot.

He fell to defeat against Charles Oliveira in May and now faces Gaethje. We fancy Chandler to pick up the shock win and extend Gaethje's losing streak to two and reenter himself into the title conversation.

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