UFC 268 Best Bets: Usman, Zhang Favoured in Long Awaited Rematches

Notice! Actual odds are subject to change and are correct as displayed only at the time of publishing: 3:34 PM 05.11.2021.

UFC 268 Best Bets: Usman, Zhang Favoured in Long Awaited Rematches

A pair of UFC belts will be up for grabs when UFC 268 action gets underway on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York. A long awaited rematch highlights the night’s card as Kamaru Usman defends his UFC welterweight crown against archrival Colby Covington as a strong betting favourite. The ladies claim the spotlight in Saturday’s co-main event, as Zhang Weili attempts to reclaim the UFC women’s strawweight title she lost to Rose Namajunas in a championship rematch pegged as a razor-thin favourite at the sportsbooks.

CanadianBettingSites takes a look at all the odds and trends ahead of these key UFC 268 matchups. Sports bettors looking to get in on UFC action for the first time can refer to our betting guides to learn all they need to know to get the best out of their mixed martial arts betting experience.

Kamaru Usman (c) vs Colby Covington – UFC Welterweight Championship

Kamaru Usman will be aiming to extend his epic win streak to 19 fights when he puts his UFC welterweight title on the line in a rematch with Colby Covington as a lofty 1.30 favourite on the UFC 268 odds at Bet99. “The Nigerian Nightmare” has been idle since handing Jorge Masvidal a stunning second-round KO loss back in April at UFC 261, which also earned him the fourth Performance of the Night bonus of his career.

Overall, Usman has finished opponents in three of his past four outings, a run that started with a fifth-round TKO win over Covington at UFC 245 in December 2019. That marks a dramatic change for the 34-year-old after claiming unanimous decision wins in eight of his previous nine contests, including his five-round victory over Tyron Woodley at UFC 235 that lifted him to the top of the UFC welterweight division.

Usman’s ability to go the distance is likely to serve him well in his upcoming date with Covington. Pegged as a lengthy 3.45 underdog on the MMA odds at Betsafe, “Chaos” has been idle for 14 months since claiming a fifth-round TKO win over former champion Tyron Woodley at UFC Vegas 11. That marked Covington’s first finish in seven contests since August 2016, with the 33-year-old American claiming victory on five occasions while going 6-1 over his past seven outings.

Despite the recent trend towards his fights going the distance, Covington also owns a well-deserved reputation as a submission specialist. The southpaw tapped out opponents on four occasions while winning nine of his first 10 professional fights, with his most submission victory coming against Jonathan Meunier at UFC Fight Night 89 in Ottawa, back in June 2016.

Title fights are also nothing new for Covington. In addition to his loss to Usman in their clash at UFC 245, which earned him his first career Fight of the Night bonus, Covington briefly held the interim UFC welterweight crown after outlasting Rafael dos Anjos with a unanimous decision win at UFC 225. However, he was forced to give up the belt after being unable to face Woodley in a unification matchup at UFC 228 due to injury. With both these fighters sporting lots of experience in marathon bouts, look for Saturday’s clash to go the distance, with the edge going to the current champion.

The Pick: Usman to win (1.30) at Bet99

Rose Namajunas (c) vs Zhang Weili – UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship

Saturday night’s co-main event features another long-awaited rematch, as Zhang Weili looks to reclaim the UFC women’s strawweight title she lost to Rose Namajunas at UFC 261 as a slender 1.85 favourite on the UFC 268 odds at Betway. Zhang has been a dominant force since kicking off her pro MMA career in China back in 2013, posting wins in 16 of 17 fights prior to joining the UFC in 2018.

“Magnum” has maintained her dominance in UFC action, posting impressive victories in her first five trips to the octagon, including first-round wins over Jessica Aguilar and Jessica Andrade. However, she was totally unprepared for what awaited her in her first meeting with “Thug Rose”, who ended her night and seized the title with a devastating head kick just 78 seconds into their clash at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.

The question is whether Zhang can avoid a similar fate this time around against Namajunas, who returns to action pegged as a 1.91 bet at Bodog. Thug Rose has endured wild ups and downs since joining the UFC back in 2014. In addition to tallying a trio of opening-round wins, Namajunas has also been finished inside three rounds on two occasions while losing in three of 11 octagon appearances. And like her opponent, the 29-year-old enjoys a wealth of experience in championship fights.

Thug Rose has now won the UFC women’s strawweight title on two occasions after losing to Carla Esparza in their battle for the inaugural divisional crown in her UFC debut at The Ultimate Fighter 20. Despite that success, Namajunas has successfully defended the title on just one occasion, and will likely need another speedy and explosive finish to prevent Zhang from exacting her revenge.

The Pick: Zhang to win (1.91) at Bodog