Abu Dhabi: Two big winners from Abu Dhabi’s UFC® 267: BLACHOWICZ vs. TEIXEIRA, with big Middle Eastern followings, Islam Makhachev and Khamzat Chimaev, will be eagerly awaiting the outcomes of pivotal lightweight and welterweight division fights this weekend at UFC® 268: USMAN vs. COVINGTON 2.
Khamzat Chimaev, who finished Li Jingliang in the first round via rear-naked choke in Abu Dhabi, wasted no time by calling out welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, and his upcoming opponent Colby Covington, who will compete for the welterweight title this weekend. Following his performance of the night outing against Jingliang, Chimaev said: “Usman… I’m coming for you”. Fan favourite Khamzat only returned to the Octagon® at the weekend following more than a year on the sidelines through illness but had already set his sights on the upper echelons of the division.
Welterweight champion Usman and No.1 ranked Covington will face off in a highly anticipated rematch this weekend. The pair’s first bout took place in December, 2019, with Usman finishing Covington via fifth round TKO to retain his title. The champion has then gone on to defend his title three more times and climb the rankings to become the No.1 ranked pound-for-pound in the UFC.
Another first round submission was on display in Abu Dhabi from Islam Makhachev, who many have deemed as the successor of teammate and coach, Khabib Nurmagomedov. Makhachev, who is now ranked No.5 in the lightweight division, defeated Dan Hooker in Abu Dhabi, and demanded: “Next fight, it has to be for the title, or a contender fight”. Makhachev is targeting higher ranked opponents, two of which will be fighting this weekend at UFC® 268: USMAN vs. COVINGTON 2, when Justin Gaethje squares off against Michael Chandler, in a highly anticipated lightweight bout between the No.2 and No.4 ranked lightweights respectively.
Gaethje’s is himself no stranger to Abu Dhabi with last fight October 2020, ending in defeat to Khabib. The Highlight will be aiming to get back in the win column, against Chandler, who got his first UFC win in Abu Dhabi against Dan Hooker, in January this year.
UFC® 268: USMAN vs. COVINGTON 2 takes place on Sunday November 8 from Madison Square Garden, New York – with Makhachev, Chimaev, and fight fans across the Middle East watching on eagerly.
How to Watch (Sunday, November 8):
Time: 02:00 AM GST (Prelims) (UFC Arabia, AD Sport 2, AD Fight, StarzPlay)
04:00 AM GST (Prelims cont.) (UFC Arabia, AD Fight, StarzPlay, AD Sport 2)
06:00 AM GST (UFC Arabia, AD Fight, StarzPlay)
UFC® is the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization (MMA), with more than 625 million fans and 178 million social media followers. The organization produces more than 40 live events annually in some of the most prestigious arenas around the world, while broadcasting to nearly 900 million TV households across more than 170 countries. UFC’s athlete roster features the world’s best MMA athletes representing more than 75 countries. The organization’s digital offerings include UFC FIGHT PASS®, one of the world’s leading streaming services for combat sports. UFC is owned by global sports and entertainment company Endeavor, and is headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada.