Just seven days on from an enthralling UFC 267 which saw Glover Teixeira crowned the new light heavyweight champion at the age of 42, and Petr Yan once again scaling the bantamweight mountain, the UFC is on hand for another huge night of fights from Madison Square Garden.

In the main event, welterweight champion Kamaru Usman will defend his belt for a fifth time, and for a second time against the outspoken Colby Covington. Before that, Rose Namajunas will defend her strawweight belt for the first time against former champion Zhang Weili, while lightweight contenders Justin Gaethje and Michael Chandler meet in what could be an explosive encounter.

We preview all the action from Saturday night and offer the latest UFC 268 betting odds below.

Usman v Covington – Welterweight title

When these two rivals met for the first time, there were some lingering questions around Kamaru Usman, despite the dominance with which he dethroned long-standing champion Tyron Woodley. He’d shown his pressure wrestling was capable of winning MMA bouts but had yet to sprinkle the stardust which the fans demand from their champions.

His meeting with Covington put many of those to bed. It was a close fight, that could have been won by either man. But after a back-and-forth battle that remained on the feet throughout, it was Usman that came down the stretch the better, finishing Covington towards the end of the final round. Covington had impressed too, and had certainly provided a test that remains Usman’s toughest to this day.

It was a personal battle, filled with emotion and it spilled over into the bout as both men threw fight-ending shots from the first bell to the last. Their second meeting feels somewhat more amicable. Covington has put away the ‘gimmicky’ side of his character to a certain extent lately, and says he’s determined to be less emotional and more clinical this time around. Usman on the other hand has shown with every fight since that he is becoming a more well-rounded martial artist every time he makes the walk and is undoubtedly the greatest fighter on the planet at this present moment.

With that in mind, this fight looks set to be a little less chaotic than previously. The champion’s work with Trevor Wittman has paid dividends, as we saw in his last win against Jorge Masvidal. He controlled the fight with his punishing jab and set traps for a big right hand that eventually closed the show and you would expect him to execute a similar gameplan with Colby. He’ll also back himself to have the better of the clinch situations and may well look to tie his opponent up against the cage and land shots from the inside, as he did so well against Woodley.

Although Colby has spoken about being too frenetic in the first meeting, the higher pace suits his strengths well. He has some of the best cardio in the game and showed in his own win against Woodley (when throwing over 400 attempted strikes and more than 20 takedown attempts) that he performs at his best at a higher pace. Where he can certainly improve from the first fight will be taking his opportunities to counter strike and landing the better shots when Usman steps forward. Usman did some excellent body work last time, forcing Colby to lower his guard, and this is ultimately what led to the two shots that changed the complexion of the fight – the straight right that broke Colby’s jaw and the big overhand that ended the fight. So, it will be interesting to see how the American plans on countering that in this one.

The first fight almost went the duration, and if it is set to be slightly more reserved this time around then 11/10 for the fight to go the distance or Usman to win via decision at 8/5 could be the way to go. In the outrights, Usman is currently 1/3 favourite to retain his belt, with Covington 5/2 to become the new champion.

Namajunas v Zhang – Strawweight title

The co-main event of the evening sees another championship rematch, this time with two-time strawweight queen Rose Namajunas defending for the first time against Zhang Weili, who she took the belt from at UFC 261 in April.  Although the first fight lasted less than a single round, the stylistic match-up between these two remains hugely intriguing and there was little surprise to see the UFC run this back immediately.

Namajunas has one of the most well-rounded arsenals in MMA today. Her striking is crisp and varied, with excellent counter strikes and an array of kicks. Her ground game is strong, and somewhat underrated too. Although many would suggest Zhang has the advantage in this department, ‘Thug Rose’ averages more takedowns per 15 minutes and also has a higher submission win percentage than her opponent.

Zhang also has a very well-rounded game. She strikes at a significantly higher volume than Rose (+2.23 per minute), averages more significant strikes and has a higher KO percentage than the champion. She’s also been working closely with former Olympic gold medallist and two-weight UFC champion Henry Cejudo of late in order to provide some new questions for Rose to answer in this one.

In general, Rose looks to be the more clinical striker, as we saw with the headkick that ended the first meeting, while you would expect Zhang to enter as the stronger of the two women and will look to lean on that more than she was able to do in the first fight. It’s another fascinating match-up, with no clear outcome despite Rose’s clear victory first time around.

If you’re feeling a bit of déjà vu, Rose is currently 3/1 to win via KO/TKO and 6/1 to do so in round one. Zhang on the other hand is 14/5 to win via KO/TKO or 11/4 by decision. There’s nothing to currently separate the two in the outrights, with both coming in at 10/11 to win.

Gaethje v Chandler – Lightweight

Sometimes the UFC put together a match-up that simply cannot disappoint. Petr Yan and Cory Sandhagen was a great example last weekend, as they threw down in a five-round classic. This weekend the show-stealer is undoubtedly Justin Gaethje against Michael Chandler.

These two always come to fight and have been involved in several iconic battles already. Gaethje came out the wrong side of such a battle against Dustin Poirier and on the right side of one with Tony Ferguson, while Chandler had an amazing two-round back-and-forth with lightweight champion Charles Oliveira in his last fight and has been in some wars with the likes of Eddie Alvarez himself.

Gaethje is as game as they come and will walk Chandler down in this one. His striking is as good as it gets in the division and he relies on a punishing high-volume attack. Such is his output on the feet that he lands more than 3.5 strikes per minute more than Chandler, who is by no means reserved in his shot selection, but also absorbs more than 4.5 strikes per minute.

Both are good wrestlers, but Chandler is more prone to leaning on it in his fights, landing 2.37 takedowns per 15 minutes, while Gaethje is yet to register a takedown in the UFC. He may well go down this route strategically in this one, as it seems unlikely, he’ll want to stand in front of Gaethje and wait for him to land power strikes.

We did see in the Oliveira fight, plus in KO/TKO losses to Patricio Pitbull, Brent Primus and Will Brooks, that Chandler’s chin can be suspect when tested by top-level strikers, which Gaethje certainly is – so a Gaethje win via KO/TKO at 10/11 could be a profitable line in this one.

In the outrights, Gaethje currently has favouritism at 1/2, with Chandler now available at 8/5 to win.

Check out all the latest UFC betting odds at William Hill