Mid-Year Forecast: The Top Five Fights Coming Up In 2021

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Kamaru Usman vs. Colby Covington UFC 245
Credit: Rodney James Edgar/Cageside Press

3. Kamaru Usman vs Colby Covington 2

At a time when the welterweight division is enjoying one of it’s greatest chapters, Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington appear to be creating a new classic rivalry.  Each match-up is expected to be bring heat in the pre-fight buildup and the fight itself is expected to push both men to their limits.

A great fight is expected in the rematch, but the stakes have been raised in the past twelve months.  For one, Usman has extended his dominance with three title defenses since their last meeting and is knocking on the door of all-time greatness.  Covington has held out for a big fight at a time when there’s been outside pressure to fight the growing list of contenders.  It has paid off, but he must now avoid going 0-2 against the reigning champion.  Should he come up short again, it would likely end his chances of ever claiming UFC gold so long as Usman holds the title.

A wrinkle to the bout is the logjam building behind Covington.  While his rematch with Usman would be the biggest fight to make at welterweight, top contenders Leon Edwards and Stephen Thompson (should he defeat Gilbert Burns in July) are on his heels and the UFC could well change course quickly if there is any hiccup in negotiations.

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