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UFC 245: Usman vs Covington Odds and Picks

In what is shaping up to be the biggest card of 2019, the UFC returns to T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada for UFC 245. There are three titles up for grabs in this stacked event with the welterweight division being in the spotlight with Kamaru “The Nigerian Nightmare” Usman defending his title against Colby “Chaos” Covington in the main event. The reigning champ, Usman, is a -175 favorite with the challenger and former interim champ, Covington, coming back at +145. I have a preview and a pick for each fight on the main card.

Event Information: UFC 245: Usman vs Covington
  • Date/Time: December 14, 6:30 p.m. ET
  • Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Arena: T-Mobile Arena
  • Where to Watch: PPV, ESPN+

Kamaru Usman vs Colby Covington

The two men on the marquee both carry lengthy win streaks into this match as Usman (-175) has won 14 straight fights and Covington (+145) has won seven in a row. The Nigerian Nightmare lost in his second pro fight via a first-round submission but has had a solid rise since then, including a dominant performance over Tyron Woodley in March to win the belt. Chaos also suffered a first-round submission in his lone pro loss and has been destroying his opponents since, winning the interim championship in 2018 with a lopsided victory over Rafael dos Anjos.

Usman has outstruck each of his 10 opponents in the UFC, using tremendous pressure and wrestling to punish his counterparts. The champ simply smashed Tyron Woodley for the belt in March, outstriking him 141-34 while also landing two takedowns in the five-round decision win. He averages 4.20 significant strikes per minute, while only absorbing 1.60, and he also lands 3.96 takedowns per 15 minutes. Similarly, Covington has outstruck all but one of his 11 foes in the Octagon and also puts outstanding pressure on his opponents. Chaos’ cardio is among the best in the UFC and he mixes up his strikes with takedowns often, tiring his opponents. He averages 5.69 takedowns per 15 minutes. Both fighters have a similar style, Usman has more power, Covington more speed and cardio – tough fight to call.

Prediction: Colby Covington (+145) via decision

For more on this fight, check out my odds analysis page

Kamaru Usman vs Colby Covington Betting Odds
Kamaru Usman-175
Colby Covington+145

Odds as of December 13 at Bovada

Max Holloway vs Alexander Volkanovski

Alexander “The Great” Volkanovski (+145) is looking to extend his 17-fight winning streak and in doing so hand Max “Blessed” Holloway (-175) his first featherweight loss since 2013, a span of 14 fights. Holloway did move up to lightweight earlier this year against Dustin Poirier for the interim belt and came up short, but returned to featherweight with a strong decision win over Frankie Edgar. Meanwhile, Volkanovski recently beat former title challenger Chad Mendes and former champion Jose Aldo.

Volkanovski is extremely fast and has crisp accurate strikes. His herky-jerky hands and head movement can often leave opponents a little flat-footed as they try to figure him out and then he fires a quick kick, which he did to Aldo’s lead leg over and over again in May. Holloway is a bully in the Octagon, always stalking his opponents and cutting down the cage, battering them with his long strikes. Blessed has a tremendous output, averaging 154 significant strikes over his last seven fights, and has outstruck all but two of his opponents in the Octagon.

Prediction: Max Holloway (-175) via knockout

For more on this fight, check out my odds analysis page

Max Holloway vs Alexander Volkanovski Betting Odds
Max Holloway-175
Alexander Volkanovski+145

Odds as of December 13 at Bovada

Amanda Nunes vs Germaine de Randamie

Two-division champion Amanda “Lioness” Nunes (-300) is looking to extend her nine-fight winning streak and make her fifth bantamweight title defense. On the other side, Germaine “The Iron Lady” de Randamie (+230) is looking to match Nunes as the second woman to be a two-division champion after she held the featherweight title but never defended it. She beat Holly Holm for the belt in 2017 but refused to defend it against Cris Cyborg and then dropped to bantamweight.

The Iron Lady is a great striker who fights really long with a quick jab and kicks. She sets her hands up well and she needed just 16 seconds to finish Aspen Ladd in July to earn her title shot. De Randamie doesn’t have great grappling skills, though, having never earned a takedown in the UFC, but her strength allows her to keep the fight standing as she defends 80 percent of takedown attempts. As for Nunes, she’s extremely well-rounded and has finished five of her last six opponents, four by knockout and one by submission. She also earned a first-round TKO win over de Randamie in 2013.

Prediction: Amanda Nunes (-300) via knockout

For more on this fight, check out my odds analysis page

Amanda Nunes vs Germaine de Randamie Betting Odds
Amanda Nunes-330
Germaine de Randamie+230

Odds as of December 13 at Bovada

Marlon Moraes vs Jose Aldo

“Magic” Moraes (-225) is looking to avoid his first losing streak since 2011 after suffering a knockout loss to Henry Cejudo in June. Looking to pile on another loss is Jose “Junior” Aldo (+175), who is making his bantamweight debut. Aldo was the longtime featherweight champion, making seven defenses and holding the belt for five years. Moraes is also a championship-caliber fighter as his loss to Cejudo was for the bantamweight strap.

Moraes is an aggressive fighter who likes to throw fast powerful low kicks that slow his opponents’ movements and then looks to go high with the kicks. He’s a fairly large bantamweight and usually uses that size to bully his counterparts around the cage while seeking opportunities to let his heavy strikes fly. Aldo has a similar style, with blistering kicks and powerful punches, and 17 of his 28 wins have come by knockout, including his last two, over Jeremy Stephens and Renato Moicano. The big question for this one is how will Aldo’s chin hold up with that increased weight cut. That said, his three knockout losses came against tough opponents in former featherweight champ Conor McGregor and current champ Max Holloway (twice).

Prediction: Jose Aldo (+175) via decision

Marlon Moraes vs Jose Aldo Betting Odds
Marlon Moraes-225
Jose Aldo+175

Odds as of December 13 at Bovada

Petr Yan vs Urijah Faber

Urijah “The California Kid” Faber (+375) ended his two-and-a-half-year “retirement” in July as he returned to the Octagon to score an upset win over Ricky Simon and he’s looking to pick up another upset over the dangerous Petr “No Mercy” Yan (-550). The Russia native, Yan, is a perfect 5-0 in the UFC and is riding an eight-fight winning streak overall, including avenging his only career loss.

Yan likes to back his opponents against the cage, constantly pawing away with his jab before throwing an aggressive overhand right. Sometimes his strikes are a little wild and telegraphed and because he’s loading up so much, he is susceptible to leg kicks. However, he has incredible cardio and is tough as nails, so even though his punches are loopy and he gets countered, he eats the shots and keeps on firing. Faber, the UFC Hall of Famer, is a well-rounded fighter with good striking and grappling. He tends to keep his hands low, which leaves him open to heavy shots, but if they miss, he has good power in his hands to drop his foe and he’s a great grappler.

Prediction: Petr Yan (-550) via knockout

Petr Yan vs Urijah Faber Betting Odds
Petr Yan-550
Urijah Faber+375

Odds as of December 13 at Bovada

Here’s a look at the rest of the odds for UFC 245: Usman vs Covington:

Geoff Neal vs Mike Perry Betting Odds
Geoff Neal-250
Mike Perry+195

Odds as of December 13 at Bovada

Ketlen Viera vs Irene Aldana Betting Odds
Ketlen Viera-185
Irene Aldana+150

Odds as of December 13 at Bovada

Matt Brown vs Ben Saunders Betting Odds
Matt Brown-375
Ben Saunders+285

Odds as of December 13 at Bovada

Chase Hooper vs Daniel Teymur Betting Odds
Chase Hooper-125
Daniel Teymur-105

Odds as of December 13 at Bovada

Brandon Moreno vs Kai Kara France Betting Odds
Brandon Moreno+135
Kai Kara France-165

Odds as of December 13 at Bovada

Jessica Eye vs Viviane Araujo Betting Odds
Jessica Eye+145
Viviane Araujo-175

Odds as of December 13 at Bovada

Punahele Soriano vs Oskar Piechota Betting Odds
Punahele Soriano-105
Oskar Piechota-125

Odds as of December 13 at Bovada

Ian Heinisch vs Omari Akhmedov Betting Odds
Ian Heinisch-140
Omari Akhmedov+110

Odds as of December 13 at Bovada