UFC 245: Usman vs Covington Preview & Prediction
By Alex Conway
The main event for UFC 245 features one of the most even matchups on paper you’ll ever see.
The welterweight title is on the line between the champion Kamaru Usman and the former interim champion and current number one contender Colby Covington.
Both fighters are wrestlers who push a high pace. How they set that pace varies and who can stop themselves from taking a backward step should come out victorious.
On the feet, Usman likes to plod forward and look for underhooks and trips. Once on the ground he unleashes his ground and pound, which while not ferocious is continuous. He’s got decent control and does most of his best work in half guard positions.
Covington is similar in that he likes to push his opponents to the fence, grab underhooks and use trips and mat returns to get his opponent of their feet. The big difference between him and Usman is Covington never stops striking. He throws things at various speeds, odd angles but his game plan is to never let up until he’s ready to grapple.
Once he grabs a hold of his foe, he does everything in his power to not let his hands go. He will keep his grip and hold, but doesn’t utilize much ground and pound. He rides positions for as long as possible and if a break happens, he immediately resumes striking until the right moment to tie up again.
Neither guy is a huge submission threat, although I’d give the edge to Covington.
Physically, Usman is the more powerful man and has one highlight reel knockout on his resume. Covington bloodied up Demian Maia, but hasn’t really put anyone away with his power.
Still, I have a hunch that unless Usman can get Covington to respect his power, the advantage belongs to Covington in the cardio department.
For that reason alone I’m picking Covington to win a five-round decision.