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Significant Stats | UFC 268: Usman vs Covington 2

Use Significant Stats To Preview Some Of The Top Match-Ups On UFC 268: Usman vs Covington 2

(All stats according to UFC’s Record Book and Fight Metric as of November 3, 2021, and only include active athletes in their respective division unless noted otherwise)

Main Event: Kamaru Usman vs Colby Covington

Kamaru Usman

Key Stats: 14-fight win streak (2nd all-time), 0% bottom position percentage (1st all-time), +2.23 striking differential (3rd all-time among WW)

Kamaru Usman: Journey to Champion
Kamaru Usman: Journey to Champion

What It Means: Usman has a knack for imposing his will on his opponents, and as his overall game sharpens, so does his attack. His wrestling threat is always there, and he exhibits great control and patience in clinches. He chain wrestles well and is relentless in that aspect of his game. On the feet, he keeps things fundamental and is very effective with that. He likes to use front kicks to the body and will switch stances on occasion. His jab is varied and sharp, and when he keeps his combinations tight, he is a powerful puncher with real knockout power.

Colby Covington

Key Stats: 61 takedowns landed (tied-2nd all-time among WW), 1.85% bottom position percentage (5th all-time among WW), 49.6% control time percentage (7th all-time among WW)

What It Means: Covington is a pressure-heavy fighter with a never-ending motor, and he leans on that cardio to break his opponents down over the course of a fight. His striking is more combination-based, and he’ll pepper more shots than he sits down on, for the most part. He’ll uncork a few once his opponent is pinned against the cage, and he likes to shoot for a takedown, grapple, disengage and then reshoot to wear on his foe.

Main Event Preview | UFC 268: Usman vs Covington 2
Main Event Preview | UFC 268: Usman vs Covington 2

What to Look For in the Fight: The first fight surprised many as neither credentialed wrestler made a real attempt to go to the mat. On the feet, Usman threw the more impactful shots, whereas Covington’s volume earned him a pair of rounds. They’ve both developed as strikers over that time to diversify their attacks, so how that clashes is a question mark. We’ve never really seen either fighter off their back, either, so if someone can drag the fight to the mat, that’s a significant question mark, as well.

Co-Main Event: Rose Namajunas vs Zhang Weili

Rose Namajunas

Key Stats: 5 finishes (1st all-time among WSW), 0.47 knockdowns per 15 minutes (2nd all-time among WSW), 60.4% significant strike defense (8th)

What It Means: Namajunas is one of the most fluid fighters on the roster, with slick submission skills and some of the most aesthetically pleasing striking in the game. On the feet, she is in perpetual motion, flowing from side to side and angling off with each strike. She has a fast jab that she turns into a hook around high guards, and she is adept at bouncing back out of range right away. When she gets into a flow state on the feet, she is a puzzle of movement and strikes that is difficult to solve.

Zhang Weili

Key Stats: 6.36 strikes landed per minute (3rd all-time among WSW), +1.94 striking differential (6th all-time among WSW), 10:07 average fight time (5th shortest all-time among WSW)

Henry Cejudo Highlights Training Zhang Weili For Rematch | UFC 268
Henry Cejudo Highlights Training Zhang Weili For Rematch | UFC 268

What It Means: “Magnum” fights with a ferocity that, combined with her high-level technique, makes for an overwhelming problem in the Octagon. She almost always throws long combinations other than the occasional low leg kick, and her punches come at full force almost always. She is explosive and fast, and she will extend her combinations to ensure she finishes the exchange. Zhang likes to be the one moving forward almost always, but her counters also come in constant numbers.

What to Look For in the Fight: The first fight seemingly ended before it started, so it’s hard to pull anything from that first matchup. How Zhang adjusts to Namajunas’ movement is key. Namajunas was able to control distance and tempo early in the fight and set traps that paid off immediately. Zhang did land a few low leg kicks early, and she could mitigate some of Namajunas’ footwork that way. She will also try to get inside the pocket much more quickly against Namajunas, which is also easier as the fight drags on into the later rounds. If the fight hits the mat, both fighters have good submission skills off their back, but Namajunas owns the slight edge in overall grappling technique.

Other Fights to Watch (Justin Gaethje vs Michael Chandler, Frankie Edgar vs Marlon Vera)

Justin Gaethje

Key Stats: 7.46 strikes landed per minute (4th all-time), 59.4% significant strike accuracy (1st all-time among LW), 1.55% bottom position percentage (7th all-time among LW)

The Cohesive Bond Between Justin Gaethje And Trevor Wittman | UFC 268
The Cohesive Bond Between Justin Gaethje And Trevor Wittman | UFC 268

What It Means: “The Highlight” is potentially the most bankable, entertaining fighter on the roster and, as of late, he has learned to hone his all-action tendencies a bit to become as efficiently lethal as possible. Gaethje’s best attack is probably his low leg kick, which he prioritizes and goes to early. He’ll build off that strike with simple, but heavy, punching combinations. His check left hook is lethal, and he is explosive when he wants to be. He is effective with his striking moving forward and backward, and he doesn’t mind countering off an aggressive opponent.

*Michael Chandler

Key Stats: 4.49 strikes landed per minute, 2.03 takedowns per 15 minutes, 6:26 average fight time

What It Means: “Iron” is incredibly explosive, and he has built a striking style that allows him to dart in and out of range quickly. From distance, he likes to throw a teep kick and leg kicks, but once he hops into the pocket, he throws heavy boxing combinations. He also likes to reach with a straight body punch as well. He has a strong wrestling pedigree, although he usually likes to stand and bang. That said, if the tide is going against him, he is also explosive when he shoots for takedowns.

What to Look For in the Fight: Do not blink when this fight starts. Both fighters are explosive power punchers with high technical ability and high fight IQ, and they have a penchant for dramatic finishes. Look for Gaethje to cash in early with leg kicks, especially if Chandler maintains his wide stance. Chandler will probably look to counter those early and he has the reach to do so, even if Gaethje is kicking from a distance. Chandler is probably going to be the more effective fighter if it’s fought from a longer distance, but Gaethje rarely allows that to happen and will engage as much as he can.

Frankie Edgar

Key Stats: 7:41:19 average fight time (1st all-time), 1,705 significant strikes landed (4th all-time), 70 takedowns landed (tied-4th all-time)

Bonus Résumé: Frankie Edgar
Bonus Résumé: Frankie Edgar

What It Means: Nobody is as experienced in high-level fights as Frankie Edgar, who has made quite a home for himself at 135 pounds. He still maintains the tenacious toughness that is his trademark, and his well-rounded attack is a lot for anyone to handle. He is always mixing things up whether he is striking to engage in a grappling scramble or vice versa. His boxing is crisp, and he carries his power into the late parts of a fight. He likes to be the one pressing forward, as well.

Marlon Vera

Key Stats: 8 finishes (tied-1st all-time among BW), 50.7% significant strike accuracy (8th), 10:16 average fight time (8th shortest)

What It Means: “Chito” is a fighter’s fighter. Well-rounded with a mind always on a finish, Vera blatantly enjoys the combat arena. On the feet, he uses long-range weapons well: jabs and straight crosses, teep kicks to the body, leg kicks, etc. He mixes up his attack well, and if he rocks his opponent, he is as likely to dish out ground-and-pound as he is to pounce on his opponent’s neck and get a submission. He is a tricky grappler with some vicious skills on the ground.

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What to Look For in the Fight: Vera will want to pick and prod at Edgar and fight the fight at his own tempo, which is what Edgar is so good at dictating. He will march forward with a crisp combination before ducking into a takedown, or if Vera is starting the find success on the feet, Edgar will time a shot well. “Chito” is strong at stalking his opponents and trapping them against the fence before breaking his opponent down. He is also good in the clinch with elbows and knees, so Edgar will have a lot to think about in each portion of the fight.

Don't miss a single strike of UFC 268: Usman vs Covington 2, live from Madison Square Garden in New York City on ESPN+ on November 6, 2021. Prelims begin at 6pm ET/3pm PT, main card starts at 10pm ET/7pm PT.