The headline fight
The current welterweight champion Kamaru Usman with former interim champion Colby Covington. The UFC odds currently have Usman as being the favourite to once again regain defend his title against Covington, though clearly, it is not a sure thing.
Usman is the pound-for-pound number one fighter in the rankings and the Nigerian Nightmare is looking to continue his dominance in the UFC having won 19 of his 20 professional fights.
Can Usman remain calm?
Covington is testing his opponent’s calmness and focus by claiming Usman is only taking the fight as the UFC are forcing him to. Covington was keen on a quick rematch, but his chance is only just coming back around.
The two fighters previously met at UFC 245 where Usman defended his title successfully via technical knockout. After a heated build-up, Usman won in the fifth round via TKO which wasn’t taken well by his opponent who claimed to be a victim of bad refereeing and demanded a rematch.
Can Usman defend his title yet again?
This will be Usman’s fifth title defence, with his most recent having emphatically defeated Jorge Masvidal in April at UFC 261. Covington will once again be a tough opponent but Usman goes into each fight almost looking unstoppable with a skill set that evolves each time he enters the octagon.
On the main card for the night is also a number of exciting matchups for UFC fans.
The women’s bouts
In the Women’s Strawweight class Rose Namajunas is facing Zhang Weili. American, Namajunas, is a two-time and current champion in the UFC Women’s Strawweight. The 29-year-old from Milwaukee nicknamed ‘Thug’ won her first Straweight championship in Madison Square Garden back in 2017. She came into that fight as a big underdog and went on to win by knockout in the first round against Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Chinese fighter Weili is also a previous strawweight champion and comes into this fight with confidence around her, especially from coach Eric Albarracin who believes the work Weili has put into training will get her the victory.
Namajunas took the title from the Chinese star in April and will be determined to retain it while Weili will be desperate to win back the title against her rival.
In the Lightweight division, Justin Gaethje will fight Michael Chandler. Gaethje is eager for fight night having not been in the octagon for over a year. The fighter from Arizona came up short in his last fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov in a lightweight fight in UFC 254.
Chandler has been fighting professionally since 2009. The Missouri fighter is also coming off of a defeat in his last bought. Losing out to Charles Oliveria the Brazilian lightweight titleholder, his defeat puts his career at somewhat of a crossroad. At 35, Chandler knows that a win puts him back in the conversation from top contenders, but another defeat knocks him back down the pecking order once again.
The Bantamweight category
Frankie Edgar and Marlon Vera will face off in the Bantamweight category. Former lightweight titleholder, Edgar, is ranked as number 8 in the UFC Bantamweight rankings. The New Jersey fighter is coming off of a difficult defeat to handle to Cory Sandhagen in February 2021. Edgar lost the fight within the opening minute via knockout and has a lot to prove going into this fight.
Ecuadorian Marlon Vera defeated Davey Grant last time out in the third round. He has won 6 of his last 8 fights and will go into this fight knowing he has what it takes to claim another important win.
The last remaining fight on the main card is between Middleweight fighters Alex Pereira and Andreas Michailidis. Brazilian fighter Pereira is making his debut in the UFC with this fight. He has been fighting in MMA since 2015 after transitioning from kickboxing.
Michailidis, the Greek MMA fighter is making his third UFC bout after making his debut as a short-notice replacement for Vinicius Moreira against Modestas Bukauskas on July 16, 2020. The Spartan has 13 wins and 4 losses in his MMA career and will be a tough opponent for the Brazilain kickboxing champion’s debut fight.
The Preliminary Card
There are four fights set on the Preliminary Card. In the Lightweight category, Al Iaquinta will face Bobby Green. Iaquinta has been fighting in the UFC since 2012 but is coming off of two losses and looking to end his losing streak here. Green is in the same place as his rival, coming off of two defeats, the winner of this fight has a chance to get back on track.
The Featherweight bout between Shane Burgos and Billy Quarantillo sees both fighters coming In with different forms. Quarantillo won his last fight by knockout against Gabriel Benitez while Burgos was knocked out by Edson Barboza.
Finishing off the Preliminary Card will be a Middleweight fight between Edmen Shahbazyan and Nassourdine Imavov as well as the Welterweight matchup between Ian Gerry and Jordan Williams.
The Early Preliminary Card
The Early Preliminary Card is made up of four fights. Heavyweights Gian Vilante and Chris Barnett go head-to-head; Aleksa Camur and John Allan compete in the Light Heavyweight; Melsik Baghdasaryan and TJ Laramie are the Featherweight clash and, lastly, CJ Vergara ad Ode’ Osbourne faceoff in the Flyweight category.
The night’s venue is the We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort, it is located just 35 minutes or so from downtown Phoenix in Fort McDowell, Arizona.
It is set to be a big night with a number of exhilarating matchups for UFC fans to enjoy.