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UFC 268 predictions: Is anyone picking against champs Kamaru Usman and Rose Namajunas?

·3 min read
In this article:
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Usman
vs.
Covington

Namajunas
vs.
Weili

Edgar
vs.
Vera

Burgos
vs.
Quarantillo

Chandler
vs.
Gaethje

MMA Junkie readers’
consensus picks
2021: 183-102

usman2021


Usman
(66%)

namajunas2021


Namajunas
(67%)

vera2021


Vera
(57%)

burgos2021


Burgos
(66%)

gaethje2021


Gaethje
(73%)

John Morgan
@MMAjunkieJohn
2021: 187-97

usman2021


Usman

namajunas2021


Namajunas

vera2021


Vera

quarantillo2021


Quarantillo

gaethje2021


Gaethje

Simon Samano
@SJSamano
2021: 182-103

usman2021


Usman

namajunas2021


Namajunas

edgar2021


Edgar

quarantillo2021


Quarantillo

gaethje2021


Gaethje

Nolan King
@mma_kings
2021: 177-108

usman2021


Usman

namajunas2021


Namajunas

vera2021


Vera

quarantillo2021


Quarantillo

gaethje2021


Gaethje

Dan Tom
@DanTomMMA
2021: 176-109

trophy copy

2020 Champion

usman2021


Usman

namajunas2021


Namajunas

edgar2021


Edgar

quarantillo2021


Quarantillo

gaethje2021


Gaethje

Mike Bohn
@MikeBohnMMA
2021: 176-109

trophy copy

2014 Champion

usman2021


Usman

namajunas2021


Namajunas

edgar2021


Edgar

burgos2021


Burgos

gaethje2021


Gaethje

Matt Erickson
@MMAjunkieMatt
2021: 174-111

usman2021


Usman

namajunas2021


Namajunas

vera2021


Vera

burgos2021


Burgos

chandler2021


Chandler

Ken Hathaway
@kenshathaway
2021: 172-113

trophy copy

2018 Champion

usman2021


Usman

namajunas2021


Namajunas

vera2021


Vera

burgos2021


Burgos

gaethje2021


Gaethje

Danny Segura
@dannyseguratv
2021: 169-116

usman2021


Usman

namajunas2021


Namajunas

vera2021


Vera

burgos2021


Burgos

gaethje2021


Gaethje

George Garcia
@MMAjunkieGeorge
2021: 168-117

usman2021


Usman

namajunas2021


Namajunas

edgar2021


Edgar

quarantillo2021


Quarantillo

chandler2021


Chandler

Brian Garcia
@thegoze
2021: 166-119

trophy copy

2017 Champion

usman2021


Usman

namajunas2021


Namajunas

vera2021


Vera

quarantillo2021


Quarantillo

chandler2021


Chandler

Abbey Subhan
@kammakaze
2021: 164-121

usman2021


Usman

namajunas2021


Namajunas

edgar2021


Edgar

quarantillo2021


Quarantillo

gaethje2021


Gaethje

Farah Hannoun
@Farah_Hannoun
2021: 163-122

usman2021


Usman

namajunas2021


Namajunas

edgar2021


Edgar

burgos2021


Burgos

gaethje2021


Gaethje

Matthew Wells
@MrMWells
2021: 104-65

usman2021


Usman

namajunas2021


Namajunas

edgar2021


Edgar

quarantillo2021


Quarantillo

gaethje2021


Gaethje

The UFC makes its long-awaited return to New York this week, and a pair of titles are on the line in rematches.

UFC 268 takes place Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPNews/ESPN+ and early prelims on ESPN+.

(Click here to open a PDF of the staff picks grid in a separate window.)

In the main event, welterweight champion Kamaru Usman (19-1 MMA, 14-0 UFC) puts his title on the line in a rematch against Colby Covington (16-2 MMA, 11-2 UFC). Usman won their first fight with a fifth-round TKO. Usman is a -320 favorite at Tipico; the comeback on Covington is +235. But not a single one of our 13 editors, writers, radio hosts and videographers is picking Covington in an upset. Usman has a 13-0 shutout.

In the co-feature, women’s strawweight champ Rose Namajunas (10-4 MMA, 8-3 UFC) puts her belt up against Zhang Weili (21-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC), whom she knocked out to win the title. Although Weili is a slight betting favorite at -125, it’s Namajunas who has a shutout in the picks, just like Usman.

Also on the main card, former lightweight champ Frankie Edgar (24-9-1 MMA, 18-9-1 UFC) fights Marlon Vera (19-7-1 MMA, 11-6 UFC) at bantamweight. Vera is the favorite from the oddsmakers at -160, but the bout is our closest from a picks standpoint. Edgar has the smallest possible lead at 7-6.

Shane Burgos (13-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) meets Billy Quarantillo (16-3 MMA, 4-1 UFC) at featherweight. Burgos is more than a 2-1 favorite at the betting window, but Quarantillo has an 8-5 picks lead from our staff members.

And to open the main card, former Bellator lightweight champ Michael Chandler (22-6 MMA, 1-1 UFC) takes on ex-UFC interim champ Justin Gaethje (22-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) in a bout that will keep the winner in title contention. Gaethje is the favorite at -220, and he’s also a big 10-3 favorite in the picks.

In the MMA Junkie reader consensus picks, Usman (66 percent), Namajunas (67 percent), Vera (57 percent), Burgos (66 percent) and Gaethje (73 percent), are the choices.

Check out all the picks above.

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