LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 14: Colby Covington (L) battles with UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman in their title fight during UFC 245 at T-Mobile Arena on December 14, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Usman retained his title with a fifth-round TKO. (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)

The UFC follows a PPV with….another PPV! Last week was UFC 267 but this weeks card is the big one. UFC 268 live from Madison Square Garden. The UFC always tries and stack their MSG card, and this one is no different. Two titles on the line, both legit titles (not fake interim titles) and two rematches of the best fights we saw in 2020. Champion Rose Namajunas takes on Weili Zhang and then the main event will see the rivalry renewed as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport, Kamaru Usman takes on Colby Covington

Here are some specifics. The early prelims start at 6:00 pm with the prelims starting at 8pm and the main card kicking off at 10pm. everything can be seen on ESPN+with the PPV running you $70. But its worth it

I will give you my predictions in the order the fights are to take place. All odds are courtesy of Bet MGM. The King of Sports Books! For new users head on over there and use the promocode PatEgan and get your first bet RISK FREE up to $1K

223-145-2 so far this year ( 73-43-1 on locks)

(10-4 last fight card. 5-1 on locks)

 

PRELIMS

Ode Osbourne

Bruno Souza

Dustin Jacoby

Gian Villante (lock)

Ian Garry (lock)

Edmen Shahbazyan (lock)

Phil Hawes

Al Iaquinta

Andreas Michailidis

 

MAIN EVENT TIME

Michael Chandler vs. Justin Gaethje

What a fight to kick off the card. This is the #1 contender fight for the light weight title. With both men’s last fight being for that lightweight title. Ill save you the diatribe, I’m picking Gaethje. I think Chandler will try and test Gaethje’s wrestling, as Gaethje succumbed to Khabib’s wrestling in his last fight. But Khabib is the pinnacle. Both Chandler and Gaethje are All-Americans. So if he tests Gaethje’s wrestling, he might waste a lot of energy trying to get a takedown that never comes. But I think Gaethje is able to pick Chandler apart, then when Chandler shoots he stuffs it. Normally I would pick Gaethje to finish the fight, but this is Gaethje’s second 3 round fight in the UFC. His first since 2017. Weve seen a more patient Gaethje, so I like Gaethje by decision and him complain during the post fight interview that he wanted to go longer.

Justin Gaethje (lock)

Shane Burgos vs. Billy Quarantillo

Im not high on Billy Quarantillo. He takes a lot of damage and then weathers the initial storm and slowly picks his opponents apart to grab a decision win. Thats his game plan. And in some of those decision wins I actually thought he lost. But Shane Burgos isnt Kyle Nelson. Burgos is Quarantillo’s first TRUE test. A step up in competition. And a fighter who hits like a MAC truck. Burgos has only lost to some of the best featherweights in the division. Guys like Calvin Kattar, Josh Emmett and Edson Barboza. Billy Quarantillo should be a get right fight for Burgos

Shane Burgos

Chito Vera vs. Frankie Edgar

This is probably the toughest fight to predict. Im very high on Chito Vera, but Edgar is a vet that really reminds you of Rocky. Anytime you thinks hes done, or hes out, he comes back and shocks the world. The UFC has immense respect for Frankie, so I doubt they want to set him up for his 4th fight in the last 5 (his lone win coming as a split decision.) But Chito, at just 28, is hitting his prime. And hes been in the game for a long time. His last time out he was bested by Jose Aldo. The step up in competition was too much. But I have a hard time believing that he hasnt learned from that. He has one of the best coaches in the game in Jason Parillo. I think Vera edges out a decision win, but im not all that confident.

Chito Vera

Rose Namajunas (C) vs. Weili Zhang

Last time these two women fought, I picked Zhang. She didnt even make it 2 minutes. Thug Rose regained her title and it was awesome! A lot was made of the last time Rose was in this situation. Not fighting Zhang, but defending her belt. She lost to Jessica Andrade. “Was she feeling the pressure of being a champion?” “Was she ready for the spotlight?” She did herself no favors with how she acted post fight. She LOOKED like someone who feel under the spotlight. BUT what was forgotten in that fight was the fact that she was picking Andrade apart on the feet UNTIL she got picked up and dropped on her head. She came back, refocused, and defeated Andrade in a close 3 round fight. That earned her the title fight against Zhang.

Now to defend Zhang’s performance last go-round, Their first fight took place during COVID. And when COVID was sweeping Zhang’s home country. It forced her to relocate. Im reaching for an excuse because I think Zhang performs better this time around. Zhang hits like few women in the division. She truly might be the hardest hitting 115 pounder. And while she defeated Andrade in their second fight, I think if the fight had gone longer she may have lost because of Andrade’s hard hitting ability. So I wonder how the championship rounds will go. I will pick Thug Rose in this one, but like the Edgar, Vera fight….im not OVERLY confident.

Rose Namajunas

Kamaru Usman (C) vs. Colby Covington

The rematch! The last time these two fought, we got an all-timer! Ultimately it ended up being Kamaru Usman who heard “AND STILL” as his hand was raised

I suppose Covington never watched the first fight, because were hearing a lot of the same trash we heard from the first fight. Hes EXTREMELY creative……(written with heavy sarcasm font.) But Colby is REACHING during the pre-fight hype. Claiming Usman was faking eye pokes when the replay clearly shows fingers going into the eye. Hes claiming fake groin shots when the replay clearly shows a groin shot. Hes delusional to say the least. BUT hes the second best fighter in the division and I dont think, at this time, its close.

What was interesting in their first fight was the fact that neither men chose to wrestle, which made it a stand up affair. Usman had stated that Covington, who was a division 1 wrestler, wouldnt want to go to the mat with him. He was right. Covington refused to go to his bread and butter, trying to overload Usman with volume. And a lot of time that game plan works for Colby because he HAS the threat of a takedown. But since Usman wasnt worried, it took away the threat. With that being said, the fight was tied going into the 5th.

Usman’s gameplan in their first fight was perfect. Everyone wanted to discuss Colby’s gas tank, so he attacked the body. It ended up paying dividends in the championship rounds. Colby, for the first time ever, started slowing down. Ultimately getting saved by the ref as he turtled up.

Both men have since changed gyms. Colby, being kicked out of American Top Team and going down the street to train at MMA Masters. Usman, being asked to train elsewhere as Sanford MMA chose to pick Gilbert Burns over Usman. Big mistake….Usman went to Colorado to train with Trevor Whittman and his game has been taken to the next level. Usman was already a pretty decent striker, but hes gotten better. He finished Gilbert Burns by utilizing his jab. Something he did quite a bit in the first fight against Covington. He almost decapitated Jorge Masvidal, a fighter who had never been knocked out.

Kamaru Usman has leveled up. And I see him finishing Colby in the third or 4th round and shutting him up for good.

Kamaru Usman (lock)

Since BET MGM is the king of parlay’s here is how the parlay odds look!

  • f you take every one of my picks and parlay them on BetMGM, wagering $100 you’d win $298,284 (+298184)
  • If you just parlay the prelims, using all my picks and wagering $100 you would walk away with $32,122 (+32022)
  • Parlay the main card, taking all my picks and wagering $100 you would cash in $928 (+828)
  • And if you just want to take my locks and parlay them on BetMGM, wagering $100 you would win $799 (+699)

Odds subject to change. Good luck!