Key ThemesFollowing last week’s exciting action, UFC heads to Madison Square Gardens in New York, where two titles are on the line in the main and co-main event.
Title fight chaos
The main event sees the welterweight title on the line as Kamaru ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ Usman defends his title against Colby ‘Chaos’ Covington. These two athletes faced off once before, back in December 2019, when Usman won by fifth-round knockout, after an epic fight.
On the longest win active win streak in the UFC, Usman is looking to secure his 19thconsecutive win. He holds a 19-1 record, and has secured 10 finishes in that time, nine by knockout and one by submission. Before taking up MMA full time, Usman was a tour guide at an Olympic Training Centre and now he is the number 1 ranked pound-for-pound fighter on UFC’s rankings.
The no.1 ranked welterweight contender, Colby Covington, is looking to avenge one of only two defeats of his UFC career in this title fight. He has won eight of his last nine bouts and boasts eight finishes during his career: four by submission and four by knockout. Before MMA, Covington was an elite wrestler, and was a two-time NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) All American wrestler.
The co-main will see ‘Thug’ Rose Namajunas try and defend her title in a rematch with Zhang ‘Magnum’ Weili. Namajunas won the previous encounter, with a first-round knockout, which secured her the strawweight title for the second time.
Namajunas became the first woman to recapture a UFC title with her win over Zhang Weili, the fight also saw her claim a sixth post-fight bonus, which is the second most in strawweight history. She has eight finishes in her 11 career wins, with six by submission and two by KO.
Weili has won 21 of her last 22 fights, with that sole defeat being her last bout with Namajunas. She started off hot in the UFC, winning her first five fights, including winning the title over Jessica Andrade and defending it against Joanna Jedrzejczyk. She is efficient when finishing her opponents, recording 17 finishes in her 21 wins.
Two top five contenders from the lightweight division clash as Justin ‘The Highlight’ Gaethje faces ‘Iron’ Michael Chandler.
With nine post-fight awards, Gaethje is one of the most entertaining athletes in the division. He has recorded 20 finishes in his 22 career victories, 19 coming by knockout and nine of these coming in the first round. He was a former interim lightweight champion, after defeating Tony Ferguson by fifth-round KO.
Michael Chandler started his UFC career at the top of the lightweight division, defeating Dan Hooker on his UFC debut and competing for the title on his second appearance, losing out to Charles Oliveira. He has recorded 17 total finishes in his career thus far, 13 of these in the first round.
The Future is now
Irishman, Ian ‘The Future’ Garry, will be making his UFC debut as he faces off against Jordan ‘Bomaye’ Williams.
Ian Garry holds a 7-0 career record, and his last fight saw him win the Cage Warriors world championship, defeating Jack Grant after a five-round fight. Only two years ago, Garry was window cleaning in Ireland, on Saturday he will be fighting at Madison Square Garden.
Jordan Williams has proven himself as exciting to watch, securing eight finishes in his nine career wins, seven by KO and one by submission. Five of these finishes came in the first round. Williams turned pro in 2013, and before that, he was a carpenter’s apprentice.