Usman, Namajunas Make Close Title Defenses at UFC 268

 Kamaru Usman UFC 268
i.guim.co.uk The Guardian/ Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC
Kamaru Usman defended his UFC welterweight title Saturday night in New York in a tougher than expected decision over Colby Covington. Since stopping Covington in their first meeting two years ago, Usman's three dominant title defenses have had people talking about him as perhaps the best pound-for-pound fighter in MMA.

Usman certainly looked that way to begin Saturday's fight controlling things early for the first two rounds, dropping Covington with a big left hook at the end of the second. But Covington picked it up in the third and began to lead the exchanges landing some crisp punching combinations. He continued to push the action over the second half of the match as Usman seemed content to fight at the same measured pace throughout. But Usman's punches appeared just a little sharper and that was enough to gain him the unanimous decision.

The co-main event was another rematch that turned into a tight affair as Rose Namajunas retained her women's strawweight belt over Weili Zhang by split decision. Namajunas couldn't stop Zhang's takedowns throughout the fight but did manage to end up on top at the end of several rounds which was enough to sway the judges.

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