UFC: 245 | Squared Up: Usman vs Covington Fight Analysis & Predictions

Jason Paglia

Wednesday, December 11, 2019 4:13 PM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019 4:13 PM UTC

Find out the best fighting tips for this weekend's UFC 245 main card fight between Usman and Covington.
<p>Anyone that is an avid fan of the sport knows that the late December fight card is the best fight card year after year for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and this year Dana White and Sean Shelby did not disappoint!</p><p>UFC: 245 will be epic, and there is nowhere I would rather breakdown this card than Odds Market Picks. The main event might not even be the best fight on the card but it’s a title fight and sure to captivate the MMA world. It all goes down under the lights of the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada this Saturday night. In the main event, the #1 welterweight contender in the world, Colby Covington squares up against UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman. This will be Usman’s first title defence since taking the strap from Tyron Woodley at UFC: 235. Can Usman reign supreme in his first title defence or will the brash and at times obnoxious Colby Covington finally reach the mountain top in the welterweight division? You know what we do by now… Let’s get after it!</p><p> </p><div><h2 style="text-align:center">Colby Covington (15-1) vs Kamaru Usman (15-1)</h2><h2> </h2><h2><strong>Colby Covington</strong></h2><p>Colby Covington steps into the Octagon this Saturday night as the #1 welterweight contender in the world. While he did hold the interim title for about 2 minutes, the biggest opportunity of his life comes this weekend. Covington absolutely destroyed Robbie Lawler in his last fight. He set a significant strike record during the scrap with Robbie, but a very different challenge will stand in front of Covington Saturday night. Robbie Lawler is known for his striking. We all know he has heavy hands, but Kamaru Usman is a different beast entirely. Covington grew up as a wrestler. He went to Oregon State University where he became an All-American and two time Pac-10 Conference champion.</p><p>In 2011, Covington found a home under Dan Lambert and started training at American Top Team. By 2012 he became a professional mixed martial artist, went 5-0 on the regional scene and signed with the UFC in 2014. Since 2014 Covington has absolutely run through the UFC welterweight division. He has 9 wins in 10 UFC fights, but the most important win, one that would give him a shot at the strap, could come this Saturday. Will Colby Covington be able to get passed UFC legend Robbie Lawler? Below is a look at Colby Covington, by the numbers.</p><p style="text-align:center"><img alt src="https://cdn.uat.ms.sbrfeeds.com/redirect-proxy/redirect/?url=http://dmxg5wxfqgb4u.cloudfront.net/styles/background_image_xl/s3/2019-07/ColbyCovingtonHero.jpg?kR9imUAhDhiStNQbT3WH8L9ZRM7Y9XJe&amp;itok=KaC2Fdrf" style="width:650px;height:433px" /></p><h2>Stats</h2><p><strong>Method of Victory</strong></p><ul> <li>2 wins by TKO</li> <li>8 wins by Decision</li> <li>5 wins by Submission</li></ul><p><br /><strong>Significant Strikes (per/min)</strong></p><ul> <li>3.90 Landed</li> <li>2.35 Absorbed</li></ul><p><br /><strong>Takedowns</strong></p><ul> <li>51.79% Accuracy</li> <li>78.26% Defended</li></ul><p> </p><h2>Pros</h2><ul> <li><strong>Wrestling </strong>(The kid is a wrestling machine….. see credentials above.)</li> <li><strong>Stamina </strong>(Personally, I don’t like this kid, (their I said it). He annoys me and his attitude sucks, BUT I have to say…. It takes a lot to impress me when it comes to MMA. I have watched every UFC fight in the promotions catalogue three times over and in my opinion, he sets the best pace in that cage, IN THE HISTORY OF THE UFC. He doesn’t stop moving forward, he doesn’t get tired and he is like a Pit Bull trying to get a bone and it’s damn impressive.)</li> <li><strong>Pressure </strong>(From the second the bell rings, he is all over his opponents. He tries to break them down physically, but what I will say is he doesn’t mind leaving the fight up to the judges. He has 7 wins by decisions. A lot of his fights are pretty boring but he gets the job done.)</li></ul><p> </p><h2>Cons</h2><ul> <li><strong>Striking </strong>(He really has poor fundamentals when it comes to striking. He recently started throwing a much higher volume of punches but generally doesn’t cut the angles real well. He isn’t interested in technique. He wants to get his hands on you and take you down. I guess I would say he is serviceable, but not skilled.)</li> <li><strong>Arrogance </strong>(He is not above putting himself in bad situations to taunt or laugh at his opponents when he should be worried about winning the fight. Against someone like Robbie Lawler who has unforgiving power, one mistake could cost him a title opportunity.)</li></ul><p><a href="http://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=160&amp;a=9feaaf7a-d7a2-4185-974a-81ad171951df&amp;f=3"><img alt src="https://imstore.bet365affiliates.com/AffiliateCreativeBanners/Sports/General/Bet%20Builder/en-GB/UK/STD/728x90_2.jpeg" style="width:100%;height:12px" /></a></p><h2>Kamaru Usman</h2><p>Born in Nigeria, Kamaru Usman moved to the United States when he was just 8 years old. At the age of 15 he found his first love, the art of wrestling. He began wrestling for Bowie High School in Arlington, Texas. While at Bowie, he compiled a wrestling record of 53-3 before attending college. Usman went on to wrestle at William Penn University in Iowa for a year where he would qualify for the NAIA national tournament in 2007. The following year Usman transferred to the University of Nebraska at Kearney, where he led the school to the first ever team Division II National Championship. At UNK he became a 3 time All-American and finally in 2010 an individual National Champion at 170 lbs.</p><p>In 2012 Usman changed the trajectory of his life and began training mixed martial arts in 2011. He made his professional debut in November of 2012. Through 2014 Usman had amassed an MMA record of 5-1 fighting for various regional promotions. Finally, in 2015 the UFC called for Usman to take part in the Ultimate Fighter reality show. He won the competition and the rest is history. Since Joining the UFC Kamaru Usman is 10-0 and there was no victory more important than his last. He fought and beat UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley to win the welterweight championship. Saturday will be Kamaru Usman’s first tile defence. Can he defend the title against Colby Covington? Below is a look at Kamaru Usman, by the numbers.</p><p style="text-align:center"><img alt src="https://usatmmajunkie.files.wordpress.com/2018/05/kamaru-usman-ufc-fight-night-1291.jpg?w=1000&amp;h=667" style="width:650px;height:434px" /></p><h2>Stats</h2><p><strong>Method of Victory</strong></p><ul> <li>6 wins by TKO</li> <li>8 wins by Decision</li> <li>1 wins by Submission</li></ul><p><br /><strong>Significant Strikes (per/min)</strong></p><ul> <li>4.20 Landed</li> <li>1.60 Absorbed</li></ul><p><br /><strong>Takedowns</strong></p><ul> <li>50.60% Accuracy</li> <li>100% Defended</li></ul><p> </p><h2>Pros</h2><ul> <li><strong>Wrestling </strong>(As talented a wrestler as Colby Covington any other elite wrestler in the sport of MMA).</li> <li><strong>Stamina</strong> (These two fighters are as close to a replica of each other as any two fighters on the UFC roster, including pace. Usman sets an incredible tempo for 15 or 25 minutes but as high a motor as he has, I would still say it’s a half gear down from Colby Covington and that is ultra impressive).</li> <li><strong>Takedown Defense</strong> (Kamaru Usman has a 100% takedown defence in the UFC…. Meaning he has never been brought to the ground against his own will through 10 fights. That is…. Ummmmm…… ridiculous).</li></ul><p> </p><h2>Cons</h2><ul> <li><strong>Footwork </strong>(His footwork is great if he is trying to walk through your offense to take you down. However, his striking footwork leaves a lot to be desired. He is not a technical striker. As a result of that, he does not have good technical footwork.)</li> <li><strong>Striking </strong>(Usman is not a good striker. Neither is Covington for that matter, but one fighter throws a massive amount of significant strikes that land, and on of them doesn’t. If there is an area of Usman’s striking that excels it’s most definitely his clinch work. His body work and over the top elbow work is as good as it gets, but at range he leaves a lot to be desired.</li></ul><p> </p><h2>The Verdict</h2><p>This fight is incredibly hard to predict. It’s like picking between two clones. They are that close in skill, style and athleticism. If you gamble on sports for a living, the number means everything to a professional sports bettor. With that in mind I can only look one way. I give the slightest of edges to the champion in this fight. If Kamaru Usman was even money, I would probably grab him. If they fought 11 times, he might win 6, but the fact that you can grab Colby Covington right now at (2.65) is insulting.</p><p>I think that Kamaru Usman may have a miniscule edge in wrestling on Saturday night. On the flip side, Colby Covington showed against Robbie Lawler that he can hang and surpass with heavy hitting strikers. I think this fight goes 5 rounds. Both fighters are not finishers. They grind you down to a dull knob by winning decisions. If you are looking for a great price, Covington by decision is about (3.50). I think that is a solid option for a flyer but the money line is good enough value for me to grab and not look back. Give me the brash and obnoxious Colby Covington to reach the top of the welterweight mountain on Saturday night. Book It!</p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>Best Tip: Colby Covington to win at 33/20 (2.65) with <a href="http://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=155&amp;a=6a145d2b-505f-491b-a70e-2f5f31742828&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Top Rated Bookmaker!">Pinnacle</a></strong></p></div>
comment here