A welterweight title rematch between Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington is set to headline the UFC’s return to the Big Apple in November, according to reports.
MMA Fighting cites several sources close to the bout as confirming that it is expected to go ahead on November 6, with contracts between all parties set to agree terms in the coming days or weeks. It is likely that the event will be UFC 268.
The fight will come a little under two years after Usman defeated Covington by fifth round TKO in their world title fight in December 2019, with ‘Chaos’ calling for a rematch immediately afterwards after what he saw as a premature stoppage by referee Marc Goddard. However, the scorecards released after the fight indicated that Usman would likely have been the winner had the fight reached its time limit.
Covington was confirmed as the UFC’s number one welterweight contender earlier this year, apparently after Leon Edwards didn’t do enough to change the UFC’s course in his five-round decision win against Nate Diaz in June. He has fought just once since losing to Usman, defeating Tyron Woodley via late injury TKO in September of last year.
Usman, meanwhile, has been far more active since he last fought Covington, defeating Jorge Masvidal twice and Gilbert Burns — with his last two wins coming via knockout or TKO.
The fight will represent the UFC’s return to Madison Square Garden after skipping their annual November event in New York City last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The first UFC event to take place in the famous arena was UFC 205 in November 2016 at which Conor McGregor became the UFC’s first-ever double-champion when he defeated Eddie Alvarez by second round TKO to claim the UFC lightweight title.