Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman (15-1, 6 KOs, 1 SUB) will defend his title against Colby Covington (15-1, 2 KOs, 5 SUBs) in the main event of UFC 245 on Saturday, December 14, 2019 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The main card airs live on pay-per-view starting 10pm ET.
Expect a lot of action at Betcris Sportsbook where the UFC odds opened with Usman as a clear favorite. The early action has been largely on Usman, driving his money line down, but Covington is definitely a live ‘dog here. Sign Up! and let’s take a look at the UFC odds and go over your best MMA betting picks. Live UFC betting is available if you need to hedge your bets between rounds on fight night.
There are a lot of reasons that the welterweight title match between Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington is headlining a loaded Las Vegas pay-per-view card that also features championship matches with fan favorite Max Holloway and WMMA GOAT Amanda Nunes.
For starters, they’re clearly the two best fighters in a loaded division. Usman is 15-1 on a 14-fight win streak, coming off a title win where he thrashed Tyron Woodley. Covington is 14-1 and has won seven straight, mauling everyone in his path. But the best part? This is a grudge match, with real bad blood between the two.
In Covington, you’ve got a MAGA fanatic (in public, anyway) who has taken it upon himself to piss off everyone he can in every way you can think of. The champ is the son of Nigerian immigrants has promised to “unleash the rage of all immigrants” on Covington. Both men have willingly played into their archetypes: the champ is the “good guy” that truly believes that most of the MMA world wants him to shut Covington up. Throw in endless Twitter assaults, press conference blowups, and backstage confrontations, and you’ve got arguably the most promotable UFC fight of the year.
- Colby Covington +150
- Kamaru Usman -190
- Fight goes/doesn’t go to decision: -260 / +180
Significant Striking Stats
- Strikes landed per minute: Usman 4.2 / Covington 3.9
- Striking accuracy: Usman 54% / Covington 37%
- Strikes absorbed per minute: Usman 1.6 / Covington 2.35
- Striking defense: Usman 57% / Covington 56%
- Takedown average: Usman 3.96 / Covington 5.69
- Takedown accuracy: Usman 50% / Covington 51%
- Takedown defense: Usman 100% / Covington 78%
- Submission average: Usman 0.19 / Covington 0.2
Many times when elite wrestlers face off, the matchup turns into a striking battle, with neither fighter able to score consistent takedowns. That could very well be the case here, as Usman has never been taken down inside the octagon. Covington, a collegiate All-American and two-time Pac 10 wrestling champion, lands an astounding 5.69 takedowns per 15 minutes - but is anyone convinced that he can take down a Division II champ in Usman?
It also seems like Usman has the physical challenges. He is the larger man with a more jacked body, leading to the assumption that he’s the stronger fighter. In terms of athletic acumen, Usman would probably measure better in the NFL combine, with more explosive power. Where Colby would figure to have an advantage is in cardio - it’s hard to look at the champ’s jacked body and not assume that he can’t keep a high pace. But anyone with those doubts should take a look at his last fight with Tyron Woodley.
UFC Odds Pick: Usman to win at -190
This is a decent price on the champ, although there is some hesitation. There’s a chance that he has trouble with Covington’s pace, but he’d likely be able to power through and lock up the challenger against the fence. We also like his chances on the feet against a guy that had trouble gaining the upper hand in a striking battle against Demian Maia.
UFC Odds Pick: Fight doesn’t go to decision at +190
This is a riskier pick, but one that offers a nice payout. While neither fighter consistently finishes opponents, the pace of this contest should be insane. Plus, Usman is coming into this fight pissed - if he doesn’t finish Covington there’s a good chance he gasses himself out trying to do so.