UFC: Usman vs. Covington preview and pick
The UFC saved its biggest fight for last, as the last major card of the year will pit two of the best welterweights in the world against each other for at title. And lucky for us all, these two absolutely hate each other. Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and challenger Colby Covington are ready to throw hands and spill blood Saturday, and BetAmerica has the inside scoop on what to expect on fight night.
Army Black Knights
O 40.5 (-109)
U 40.5 (-111)
Usman and Covington are practically mirror images, when it comes to their technique and accomplishments. Both are undefeated in the UFC, and both are known for their high work rate and impeccable conditioning, as well as a solid takedown game. The bad blood between these two suggests they are chomping at the bit to fight, but this might not be the most appealing fight when the bell sounds.
Usman has physical advantagesAs is often the case when two fighters with similar characteristics face off, the fight may come down to who can dictate the pace in the early rounds. Usman's advantage in reach can come to play early on, especially if he can outwork Covington from a distance and frustrate him. Along with his reach Usman is the more accurate striker and has heavier hands.
Covington is not going to get worn out or winded, but he cannot let Usman flurry and bicycle out for too long without having to take a chance or two. While Usman's takedown defense is formidable, Covington is going to have to threaten the ground game and shoot for takedowns, unless he can consistently time Usman and slow down his offense. Covington needs to be just as busy as Usman, with the hope he can bypass the reach for a takedown.
Tactics will be keyThis also could be a clinch-filled affair, as both men will opt to stuff the other's offense with constant grappling. If the fight is fought at such a slow pace in close quarters, Usman's striking power could make Covington vulnerable for a takedown attempt of his own. Despite the bad blood this can shape up to be a tactical affair that goes the distance.
Recent form suggests that, while both are fighting at the highest level, Usman is going to have a bit more to bring into the octagon. Expect a disciplined performance from the champion, as he will keep Covington on the outside, keep him out of position with his footwork and be smart when things get chippy. Usman will squeak past Covington by a narrow decision, though we'll be sure to see them again in the near future.
MMA free pick: Usman