UFC 245: Usman vs Covington Tips & Preview

The UFC returns to Vegas this weekend for a high-profile card in the form of UFC 245.

We’ve got three intriguing title fights on deck, headlined by the Welterweight battle between Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington. Aussie Alex Volkanovski will be in action against Max Holloway, while Amanda Nunes takes on veteran Germaine de Randamie at Bantamweight.

We’ll preview each of these three fights and identify where the value lies.

Kamaru Usman vs Colby Covington, Welterweight
Usman to Win $1.55

Kamaru Usman: Having emerged as one of the best Welterweights in the world, Usman enters this clash with a strong 15-1 career record. He is an outstanding 9-0 in UFC bouts, winning the title over Woodley this past March. The majority of his wins have coma via decision, although the flipside is that he’s shown some insane cardio. He can be vulnerable if the fight goes to the ground, but he also possesses an elite takedown defence.

Colby Covington: The controversial Covington enters this fight with the same record as Usman, an impressive 15-1. He has been on a very strong run of late, beating Maia, dos Anjos, and Lawler in succession. He’s another fighter that tends to win by decision, managing just 2 knockouts and 5 submissions. Known for being an elite trash talker, let’s see if he gets into Usman’s head here.

Prediction: Usman to win $1.55

While Covington may have some intangible advantages, Usman is the much stronger and more technical fighter. I think he has a noticeable power edge here and should really punish Colby on the feet. He isn’t great on the ground, but I think his speed and takedown defence will allow him to avoid these situations. This is most likely to be a KO or decision win, so feel free to take the double chance for extra value.

Max Holloway vs Alex Volkanovski, Featherweight
Holloway to Win $1.60

Max Holloway: Having established a standard in the Featherweight division, Holloway enters this clash with a strong 21-4 career record. He is 17-4 since joining the UFC, earning the Featherweight title in December 2016. He has now defended that title an impressive 4 times, even attempting to win the Lightweight belt in April. His power is almost unmatched in this division, already having 10 knockouts to his name.

Alex Volkanovski: The great Aussie hope has had a very stellar career to date, entering this bout with a 20-1 career record. He is 7-0 since joining the UFC, managing 3 knockouts within that. He has claimed some impressive scalps of late, beating both Chad Mendes and Jose Aldo in his last 2 fights.

Prediction: Holloway to win $1.60

As good as Volkanovski has been of late, I just don’t see him getting past Holloway here. Max has a noticeable size and reach advantage and I think he can really dominate the striking battle. I think he can out-point Alex early and potentially get a late KO if his opponent begins to press. All 3 methods of victory are in play for Holloway, so I think the straight up win is good value at this price.

Amanda Nunes vs Germaine de Randamie, Women’s Bantamweight
Nunes by KO/Submission

Amanda Nunes: Widely considered to be the female GOAT, Nunes enters this clash with a stellar 18-4 career record. She’s on an impressive 9-fight win streak, beating the likes of Cyborg, Rousey, Holm, Tate, and Shevchenko in the process. Now a 2-division world champ, she’s known first and foremost for her elite power, managing an outstanding 13 knockouts thus far.

Germaine de Randamie: The veteran Dutchwoman enters this fight with a fairly solid 9-3 career record. She previously won the inaugural Women’s Featherweight title, but was stripped due to an unwillingness to fight Cris Cyborg. She comes into this fight in excellent form, beating Aspen Ladd in just 16 seconds last time out.

Prediction: Nunes by KO/Submission

I’d never bet against Jon Jones and Nunes is essentially the female equivalent of that right now. She’s on another level to everyone else right now and I don’t think de Randamie can touch her here. Her speed and power should be too much on the feet and she also has an advantage in the BJJ game. I like her to get the finish here and see some strong value in this double chance market.