UFC 268 is fast approaching, and the anticipation for how the card’s odds will be set, is building.
With a stacked card featuring Colby Covington, Kamaru Usman, Rose Namajunas, Zhang Weili, not forgetting Michael Chandler and Justin Gaethje headlining the event, UFC has put together one of its best cards to date. But will it be enough? The potential for this event could make UFC 268 the most significant card in 2021!
This article discusses UFC, a famous Mixed Martial Arts promotion with more than 300 million fans worldwide.
History – UFC1 to UFC268
UFC1 was held in 1993 with fighters of all sizes competing against each other. Four years later, they introduced weight classes: heavyweight for 200 pounds or more, lightweight for 199lbs or less!
That night in 1993, Mark Coleman needed less than three minutes to defeat Dan Severn by neck crank to become the heavyweight champion, make history, set the odds and seal the fate of UFC, all in one go.
While UFC 12 was the first event to introduce weight classes, it would be another 13 years until its next championship belt. In January 2012, at UFC on FOX, Velasquez vs. Dos Santos, Cain Velasquez defeated Junior Dos Santos by TKO in just 64 seconds to become a heavyweight champion for the second time.
With that victory came a new title belt design. It featured custom-made gold plates attached to an authentic leather strap, matching what many considered MMA’s highest honor with one of its most prized possessions.
Today, in 2021, there are 12 weight divisions in the UFC, with the flyweight division in development — eight for men, four for women. Throughout the years, UFC has managed to create a massive list of champions across all weight divisions. While many have come and gone, others are still developing their legacy today — Colby Covington being one example in both categories.
Let’s talk about the potential of UFC 268. Matches are headlined by two title fights which are both hotly anticipated in their own right. Colby Covington has been calling for a fight with Usman since he captured the interim welterweight championship at UFC 225 in June 2018, when he unanimously defeated Rafael dos Anjos.
Covington will finally get his chance at the championship in November, and if he does win, this fight could make him the first man to hold two belts simultaneously in the UFC. As a bonus, if Covington defeats Usman, he could become only the third-ever fighter to do so after Conor McGregor and Daniel Cormier. They were both champions in different divisions during their respective reigns as champions.
While this fight will be at 170lbs, we must mention Darren Till’s previous comments about wanting a title shot against Covington in the next round if he beats Jorge Masvidal in October. What if Till wins the welterweight championship? That makes him the second British UFC World Champion (the other being Michael Bisping). It also hots up what was already expected to be a significant event with one of the best champions ever to grace our screens!
Kamaru Usman also enters this matchup, having won an incredible eleven consecutive bouts while holding onto his undefeated record throughout that period — can anyone stop him?
While these fights get top billing, let’s look at those fighters making their debut at UFC 268.
Debut fighters to keep an eye on
Ricardo Ramos and Devonte Smith will be making their UFC debuts on this card. Both fighters have a background in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. It is always exciting to watch new talents coming through the ranks at such an elite level!
At UFC 268 in NYC, top prospect Irishman Ian Garry will make his UFC debut. Garry signed with the #1 MMA promotion after slamming the welterweight belt against Jack Grant in 2021.
Garry has relocated to Florida’s Sanford MMA to prepare for his highly anticipated debut. The Irish contender will meet Jordan Williams, a two-time promotional veteran who is 9-5 and eager for a win to keep his UFC chances alive.
Also on the card is Yoel Romero, a Bellator debutant who comes in with a clean slate, having returned to his fighting weight of 205 pounds. He looks to build on his first-round TKO win at Bellator 222, where he made Chris Weidman tap out.
Romero will square off with one of the top talents in MMA today: Robert Whittaker. The current UFC middleweight champion enters this matchup undefeated since losing to Romero via split decision in 2015. This fight is sure to be an intriguing battle between two explosive powerhouses who are both hungry for a win and willing to do anything it takes inside that octagon.
Best matches on the UFC 268 Card
If it weren’t because we only witnessed the matchup between Rose Namajunas and Zhang Weili in April, this strawweight title match would be highly regarded.
Even though we’re glad Zhang is getting a rematch right away since we believe she will give Namajunas a completely different fight this time, it’s not one of those highly anticipated and hyped rematches.
Zhang, on the other hand, is indisputably world-class. She has proven she is a champion, but nothing confirms it more than rebounding from a loss like the one she experienced against Namajunas last time round.
In early November, Justin Gaethje will face Michael Chandler in a lightweight fight at UFC 268. We won’t even try to explain this one. The matchup between Gaethje and Chandler is self-evident. Absolute conflagration. Thank you, UFC, for giving us this fight.
We’ve got a few more names to throw out there: Charles Oliveira and Chris Gruetzemacher, who will face each other at UFC on ESPN+ 16; undefeated Jordan Wright (who has been killing it in the lightweight division), taking on hot prospect Niko Price at UFC Fight Night 150; Dennis Bermudez vs. Te Edwards is set for UFC on ESPN+ 14.
We haven’t even mentioned the most-anticipated fight of all – Covington vs. Usman. This is a rematch worth getting excited about.
Usman has faced Covington in his most challenging championship bout in the UFC. He’s a more formidable opponent for Usman than Jorge Masvidal, whom we’ve previously seen fight Usman twice. Covington also stands a better chance of defeating Usman than Masvidal ever did.
In many aspects, Usman and Covington are opposites in terms of personality. Many people believe Usman to be the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet, which he wasn’t when they first fought.
Covington has a severe problem with how many people recall their first bout. He believes he came a lot closer to defeating Usman than he has been given credit for.