Let chaos reign!
While the fight hasn't been confirmed, the UFC has been very adamant about a desire to book Leon Edwards and Colby Covington for a welterweight title bout later this year.
Honestly I don’t care who I fight next. This whole division is light work #KingLeon— Leon 'Rocky' Edwards (@Leon_edwardsmma) May 7, 2023
A few months away from this potential five-round tussle, Edwards is a slight -125 favorite.
Leon Edwards vs Colby Covington Odds
Odds as of May 23
Per our odds calculator, Edwards' -125 status equates to a win probability of 55.56%, and a $100 bet on him pays $180. Covington gets a 48.78% chance and a $100 bet yields $205.
Edwards vs Covington Preview
Will Colby's foul-mouthed, in-your-face strategy break the confident Englishman? Or will the belt remain in Birmingham, where Edwards has a wave of support behind him?
How Covington Wins
Since Edwards paces himself well, Covington doesn't have a breezy path to a cardio victory. While Colby's gas tank will give him an advantage, his best strategy to victory involves getting Leon on his butt early.
In a similar vein to the Kamaru Usman, Covington's striking always sets up his wrestling. "Chaos" is smart, always thinking a step ahead. But Edwards is intelligent, too, capable of pummeling to get underhooks, even when he's pressed on the cage.
To win this bout, Colby needs to be more creative than Usman was at UFC 286. Conventional takedowns won't crack the champ Edwards, so Covington must open things up with strikes to the body or trip takedowns. Takedown spamming won't result in a title-fight victory.
How Edwards Wins
Covington, by nature of his ever-forward fight style, isn't a master of disguise. It's very obvious why he's encroaching — he wants range for a takedown — and he often succeeds. Edwards needs to use that buffer period, where Chaos is waiting for his window, to rack up damage.
At UFC 272, Jorge Masvidal dropped Colby with a counter right hook, which looked great in a wild exchange, but was actually set up with a few feints to body earlier. That is precisely how Edwards wins. Think about it: "Rocky" twitched and felt out Usman for four-and-a-half rounds at UFC 278 before folding him with a fake left hand and then a high kick.
Leon has a high fight IQ, and Covington, while very talented, exposes his tendencies on occasion.
Leon Edwards vs Colby Covington Pick
I've never been a huge Leon fan, but he's capable of defending his belt. Covington has a cardio and grappling edge, sure, but I'm not confident he possesses the offensive firepower to knock Leon off his game.
Edwards is focused. A few takedown defenses could radically alter the momentum of this bout. I'll count on that and an Edwards decision victory.