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Welterweight champ Kamaru Usman to defend his belt in rematch with Colby Covington in UFC 268

A rematch of one of the best title fights in UFC welterweight history is on deck.

Kamaru Usman, ranked as ESPN’s top pound-for-pound MMA fighter, will defend his UFC welterweight title in a second fight with Colby Covington in the main event of UFC 268 in November, UFC president Dana White told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto on Monday.

The date and location are not finalized yet, but the UFC is hoping for the fight to headline at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Usman and Covington met for the first time at UFC 245 in December 2019, an all-action fight that Usman won by TKO in the fifth round. Covington disputed that result, saying it was an early stoppage. Covington has been Usman’s toughest adversary yet as champion.

ESPN has Usman ranked No. 1 and Covington ranked No. 3 in the world at welterweight.

Usman (19-1) has won 14 consecutive fights in the UFC, the second-longest streak in promotion history behind all-time great Anderson Silva (16).

The Nigeria native and Florida resident, who fights out of Colorado, is coming off a second-round knockout of Jorge Masvidal at UFC 261 on April 24. Usman, 34, will look to go 3-0 in 2021.

He also owns a title defense over Gilbert Burns, a third-round TKO at UFC 258 in February. Usman has not lost since his second career pro fight in 2013, a total streak of 18 victories in a row. Covington (16-2) has won eight of his past nine fights with the only loss during that time coming to Usman.

The former Oregon State University All-American wrestler, who fights out of Florida, is the former UFC interim welterweight champion. Covington, 33, has not fought since a fifth-round TKO over former champ Tyron Woodley in September 2020. He has an 11-2 UFC record.

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