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UFC 268: Kamaru Usman stiff arms Colby Covington to retain welterweight belt

Kamaru Usman is still the king of the UFC welterweight division.

Usman (20-1-0) knocked down Colby Covington Covington (16-3-0) twice in the second round and it looked like Usman would run away with the contest. But Covington fired back with improved volume in the fourth round in which he wobbled the champion near the end of the round.

But Usman held on in the fifth round, doing enough to settle things down. The judges scored it, 48-47, 48-47, and 49-46.

UFC president Dana White praised Usman in the post-fight press conference, hailing him as  “on the way” to becoming the greatest welterweight of all time. He also put some respect on Covington, calling him “a tough fighter.”

Chris Barnett, Bobby Green, Alex. Pereira, and Marlon Vera earned performances of the night, while Justin Gaethje and Michael Chandler earned Fight of the Night. Each fighter earned a $50,000 USD bonus apiece.

Kenai Andrews checks in with this thoughts on the card.

UFC 268 FIGHT PASS PRELIMS: 

C.J. VERGARA VS. ODE OSBOURNE

WINNER: ODE OSBOURNE VIA UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: C.J. VERGARA VIA TKO

Andrews: Osbourne was motivated by the weight miss of Vergara.

MELSIK BAGHDASARYAN VS. BRUNO SOUZA 

WINNER: MELSIK BAGHDSARYAN VIA UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: MELSIK BAGHDSARYAN VIA TKO

Andrews:  Another win for the new kid.

DUSTIN JACOBY  VS. JOHN ALLAN

WINNER: DUSTIN JACOBY VIA UD (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: DUSTIN JACOBY VIA TKO

Andrews: Didn’t get the finish, but a good performance for Dustin.

GIAN VILLANTE VS. CHRIS BARNETT

WINNER: CHRIS BARNETT VIA TKO (WHEEL KICK and PUNCHES) R2 2:23

ANDREWS PREDICTION: GIAN VAILLANTE VIA TKO

Andrews: Very embarrassed for Gian Villante. Very impressed with Chris Barnett.

UFC 268 PRELIMS

IAN GARRY VS. JORDAN WILLIAMS 

WINNER: IAN GARRY VIA TKO (PUNCHES) R1 4:59

ANDREWS PREDICTION: IAN GARRY VIA UD

Andrews: Garry got it just in the knick of time.

EDMEN SHAHBAZYAN VS. NASSOURDINE IMAVOV

WINNER: NASSOURIDNE IMAVOV VIA TKO (ELBOWS) R2 4:42

ANDREWS PREDICTION: NASSOURDINE IMAVOV VIA UD

Andrews: Things can turn quickly for prospects. Shahbazyan is no longer one.

PHIL HAWES VS. CHRIS CURTIS

WINNER: CHRIS CURtIS VIA TKO (PUNCHES) R1 4:27

ANDREWS PREDICTION: PHIL HAWES VIA TKO

Andrews: Another rook comes through.

AL IAQUINTA  VS. BOBBY GREEN

WINNER: BOBBY GREEN VIA TKO (PUNCHES) R1 2:25

ANDREWS PREDICTION: AL IAQUINTA VIA UD

Andrews: Credit to Green for getting Al out of there, something even Khabib couldn’t do.

ALEX PEREIRA VS. ANDREAS MICHAILIDIS 

WINNER: ALEX PEREIRA VIA TKO (FLYING KNEE) R2 0:18

ANDREWS PREDICTION: ALEX PEREIRA VIA TKO

Andrews: Wow! What a flying knee.

MAIN CARD 

#5 MICHAEL CHANDLER VS. #2 JUSTIN GAETHJE 

WINNER: JUSTIN GAETHJE VIA UD (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: MICHAEL CHANDLER VIA TKO

Andrews: Gaethje is one tough dude to survive that stuff and still outwork Chandler. Great win.

#14 SHANE BURGOS VS. BILLY QUARANTILLO 

WINNER: SHANE BURGOS VIA UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: BILLY QUARANTILLO VIA TKO

Andrews: Billy came up a couple of nickels short.

#8 FRANKIE EDGAR VS. #13 MARLON VERA 

WINNER: MARLON VERA VIA KO (FRONT KICK) R3 3:50

ANDREWS PREDICTION: FRANKIE EDGAR VIA UD

Andrews: It’s official. Edgar at 40 years old is now 2-5-0 in hast seven fights. He’s not “The Answer” anymore.

ROSE NAMAJUNAS VS. WEILI ZHANG 

WINNER: ROSE NAMAJUNAS VIA SD (47-48 , 48-47, 48-47)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: ROSE NAMAJUNAS VIA TKO

Andrews: That was a close fight.

MAIN EVENT

KAMARU USMAN VS. #1 COLBY COVINGTON 

WINNER: KAMARU USMAN VIA UD (48-47, 48-47, 49-46)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: KAMARU USMAN VIA SUBMISSION

Andrews: Usman showed again he is the best. Colby finally broke character after another gritty performance.

The next UFC event is UFC on ESPN+55, which takes Places at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Max Holloway takes on Yair Rodriguez in the featherweight main event.

@kenaiandrews

KenaiAndrewshttps://www.mmacrossfire.com
Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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