Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Not surprisingly, a leading online sportsbook has set UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman as a solid favorite to defend his title in a planned rematch with Colby Covington.

The opening betting line for Usman vs. Covington 2, which has been targeted for UFC 268 on Nov. 6 at Madison Square Garden, has Usman as a -270 favorite and Covington as a +230 underdog.

At those odds, a $100 wager on Usman would net $37.04 in profit, while a $100 bet on Covington would net $230. Usman’s implied winning probability, meanwhile, is 72.97 percent, while Covington’s is 30.3.

Verbal agreements are in place for the welterweight rematch, which will arrive 23 months after their first meeting at UFC 245. After a very heated buildup, Usman had the final word with a fifth-round TKO that reportedly left Covington with a jaw injury. Covington later said his jaw wasn’t broken and claimed he was the victim of bad refereeing courtesy of Marc Goddard, whom he accused of favoring Usman.

Covington returned to the cage 10 months later and stopped ex-champ Tyron Woodley to improve his overall UFC record to 11-2. Usman, meanwhile, went on to defend his title three more times, beating ex-Covington teammate Jorge Masvidal twice – once by decision and once by knockout – and top contender Gilbert Burns by TKO.

Usman’s performances have landed him at the top of the welterweight and pound-for-pound list in the MMA Fighting Global Rankings. Covington is the No. 2 ranked welterweight and No. 19 on the pound-for-pound list.

Here are the opening betting odds for Usman vs. Covington 2, courtesy of BetOnline.ag:

Kamaru Usman -270

Colby Covington +230

https://www.mmafighting.com/2021/7/27/22595086/kamaru-usman-opens-as-solid-favorite-over-colby-covington-in-planned-ufc-268-rematch