UFC 268: Usman vs Covington 2 is happening on Saturday, featuring a long-awaited rematch between the two top welterweights in the world of MMA. This will be the fifth consecutive title defense for reigning UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman. “The Nigerian Nightmare” has rocketed through the ranks since signing on with the league in 2015, racking up an undefeated record (his one and only professional MMA so far was in 2013, before he joined the UFC), and if you’re looking for something to do before you watch UFC 268 online this weekend, we’ve highlighted Kamaru Usman’s five best fights here. Then, be sure to sign up for ESPN+ and grab the UFC 268 PPV at a discount so you can stream it live on Saturday and watch some of Usman’s past fights for yourself.
The Ultimate Fighter 21 Finale: Usman vs. Hassan
Kamaru Usman made his UFC debut in 2015 in the 21st season of The Ultimate Fighter, the UFC’s long-running reality series. In the July finale, Usman was chosen by his team to face Hayder Hassan. After an impressive first-round showing, Usman got staggered briefly in the second before taking Hassan to the mat and trapping him with an arm-triangle choke, forcing his opponent into submission at the 1:19 mark. This victory earned Usman his first Performance of the Night award along with a full contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship — his golden ticket into the world’s biggest MMA league — and he’s been on a tear ever since.
UFC on Fox 17: Usman vs. Edwards
Usman was next slated to face Leon Edwards in his first official UFC event following his stint on The Ultimate Fighter. In December 2015, the two met in the Octagon in Orlando, Florida, and both fighters went the distance in a three-round fight on the early preliminary card. Usman’s long wrestling experience and grappling skills proved too much for Edwards’ stand-up game, and The Nigerian Nightmare clinched a unanimous decision victory following a dominant third-round performance.
UFC Fight Night 116: Usman vs. Moraes
Usman is a wrestler through and through, having competed since high school. That said, the Nigerian-born fighter is a capable striker, and his performance at UFC Fight Night 116 in 2017 highlighted his knockout power. In Pittsburg, Usman went fist to fist with Brazilian mixed martial artist Sergio Moraes. Rather than go for his trademark takedowns and grappling, Usman came out swinging, knocking Moraes down early. The Brazilian briefly recovered before Usman delivered KO via punch 2:48 into the first round — the Nigerian’s first knockout win in the UFC, but not his last.
UFC 235: Usman vs. Woodley
After several noteworthy main card performances, Usman finally got his title shot at UFC 235: Jones vs. Smith in March 2019. For the co-main event at this PPV, Usman challenged then-champion Tyron Woodley for the UFC welterweight title. The Nigerian was the clear underdog headed into this fight but once again put on a dominant showing with his hybrid striking/clinching style. Woodley went the distance but ultimately lost his belt when Usman emerged the victor via unanimous decision, becoming the first African-born UFC champion, cementing himself as the best welterweight combatant in the league, and kicking off a title reign that continues to this day.
UFC 245: Usman vs. Covington
Usman is facing Colby Covington this Saturday at UFC 268, but every MMA fan knows this isn’t their first meeting. The UFC’s top two welterweights stepped into the cage in December 2019 at UFC 245, where the newly crowned champion would have to defend his title for the first time following his victory over Edwards nine months earlier. The fight, which was the main event, was a close contest that lasted right up to the final minute of the final round, when Usman delivered a barrage of punches to Covington to claim the win (and successfully defend the belt) via TKO stoppage.
Covington remains the No. 1 ranked fighter on the UFC welterweight roster right underneath the champ himself, and he’s once again challenging Usman for the belt. If you want to watch the UFC 268 livestream online and see for yourself how this high-stakes rematch is going to go down (and watch replays of some of Usman’s best fights), then now’s the perfect time to sign up for ESPN+. New subscribers can get a one-year subscription along with the UFC 268 PPV for $90 and save $50.
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