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Edwards vs Covington UFC 296 betting preview – December 16, 2023

Leon Edwards vs Colby Covington

UFC 296 Odds & Main Event Info

Main Event odds Edwards -172.41 at Bovada | Covington +140 at Bovada
When Saturday, December 16 – main card from 7pm PST
Where T-Mobile Arena – Las Vegas, United States
Watch Live ESPN+ PPV (US), BT Sport (UK), Main Event (AU)

The undisputed welterweight title will be on the line at T-Mobile Arena in Vegas this weekend when reigning champ Leon Edwards squares off with perennial contender Colby Covington in the UFC 296 main event. While the challenger is a polarising figure outside of the cage, MMA betting sites may have underestimated his fighting abilities and just how well the matchup suits his style.

Leon Edwards v Colby Covington fight preview

Leon Edwards


Colby Covington

21-3-0 MMA record 17-3-0
32 Age 35
6’0″ Height 5’11”
170lbs Weight 170lbs
74″ Reach 72″
UK Nationality USA

Leon Edwards (21-3-0) secured the welterweight crown with one of the most specular last-round knockouts in UFC history. The Brit was trailing on the scorecard and needed a finish to dethrone long-time champ Kamaru Usman, and he found the perfect head kick at the perfect moment to claim his destiny.

It could be argued that the 32-year-old had been setting up the kick during the first four rounds and finally secured the opening, or that luck played a role and Usman relaxed for a split-second and Edwards got lucky. Either way, it was a knockout for the ages.

Edwards is a counter-striker who likes to wait on his opponents. He moves well around the octagon, has great footwork that makes him an elusive target, and possesses a high fight IQ. Edwards backed up the freak win over Usman with a solid decision victory over the same opponent that solidified his status and dispelled any notions of unworthiness.

Colby Covington (17-3-0) has also faced Usman on two occasions, with both fights coming down to the wire. The second fight was extremely close, with the judges just leaning against the brash American and toward the incumbent. In any other era, the 35-year-old would have certainly been a dominant champion.

Covington’s fighting style is the opposite of the Edwards’ approach. He pushes the pace, dominates exchanges, and controls the distance whenever possible. He is a former wrestling champion who sets a tempo that few opponents can match.

This relentless style can break the will of hardened warriors who feel like they are drowning in the cage. There are just no opportunities to draw breath. The challenger will enjoy a grappling advantage here, and if he can break even in the striking facet of the bout, there is a solid chance he can emerge with the spoils.

Edwards v Covington predictions & top pick

We are bullish on Covington’s chances based largely on how well his fighting style matches up. Edwards will be looking to lean back and pick Covington apart from long range but will be harried throughout. With this relentless pressure, there will be little opportunity for real-time tactical changes. For that reason, we are tipping Covington with some confidence.

Colby Covington to win


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