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The stage seems to be set in Madison Square Garden to have the welterweight championship rematch between “the Nigerian Nightmare” Kamaru Usman and “Chaos” Colby Covington. Earlier this week, UFC President Dana White broke the news to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto that Usman vs Covington will be in New York. Nothing is finalized, but with UFC 268 being in New York on November 6, it is expected that their long awaited rematch will be the headliner.
Both men originally fought in December, 2019 with Usman (19-1) winning by TKO in the final round. Even though Usman got the finish, the fight was far from one-sided. Covington (16-2) has been Usman’s toughest test to date with the rematch being highly anticipated for that exact reason. Plus, it helps that both men don’t like each other.
However, since Usman’s championship defining victory against his bitter rival Covington, he’s gone on a tear defeating Jorge Masvidal twice and former training partner Gilbert Burns once. Usman has successfully defended his title four times since becoming champion in March of 2019.
Another change has been Usman’s camp. He trained with Sanford MMA when he originally fought Covington. But since then, he has begun training with Trevor Wittman in Colorado who also trains former interim lightweight champion Justin Gaethje and current women’s strawweight champion Rose Namajunas.
Covington hasn’t been as active as his rival, but he picked up an impressive win himself against former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley in September of last year. He finished the himin the fifth round to shut the door on their long standing feud. This was enough to secure him a title shot for the expected November date.
The co-main event is rumored to be Justin Gathje vs Michael Chandler. Nothing is official yet because both parties have only verbally agreed to the lightweight fight as reported by Brett Okamoto on Twitter, but expect signatures on paper in the coming days.
If all becomes official, New York seems to be in store for the two big fights to end the night. The big apple has been without a UFC card for about two years with the last card being UFC 244: Diaz Vs Masvidal. The UFC is finally returning to New York, and they’re bringing along quite a treat for the fans.