UFC FIGHT NIGHT: Covington vs. Woodley

Where to watch: Saturday, September 19, 2020, UFC APEX, Las Vegas, Nevada, Available on ESPN+.

The UFC has been nothing but “on fire” since their return from their “Covid19 Hiatus”, and the latest “UFC Fight Night” is yet another example. The main card on this night is packed with budding stars, legacy acts, and the main event is a true grudge match between two of the best welterweights in the world. The mere fact that these two fighters despise each other, is an added bonus. In reality, the loser of this main event is essentially eliminated from the championship picture.

In Colby Covington, you have a brash, MAGA Hat wearing maniac, cussing up a storm, who also happens to be a very skilled boxer, wrestler, not only famous for his legendary (and annoying) trash talk, but for his record setting activity outputs (Covington set the record for strikes in a UFC Bout with 541 vs.Robbie Lawler on August 3rd of 2019.) Truth be told, most of Colby’s trash talk has been revealed to be phony, (possibly right down to his love for all things Trump) but his profile in my own, and many others estimation grew with his loss against Kamaru Usman.


As for Tyron Woodley, the former welterweight champion, had a run of entertaining defenses (4 title defenses) after defeating Robbie Lawler via KO in July of 2016. Woodley’s subsequent two fights with Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson, began to break down the facade of his invincibility, that led him to losing his title to Kamaru Usman in March of 2019. A subsequent 14 month layoff led him to his defeat to new shooter/contender Gilbert Burn this past May. Tyron Woodley enters this fight a clear underdog (+255), and it’s not hard to see why considering his latest form is not the best of his career. The positive thinking on Woodley starts and begins with Tyron summoning the ghosts of his careers past, to find it within himself to fight at his past capability. That should be enough to win, is the optimist view.

How does Tyron Woodley win?

He has to crowd Colby and keep his jab off him. Blocking Covington’s jab, is not enough however, and only invites combinations, so he has to step inside Colby’s jab, and close the distance to “dirty up” the fight. Leg kicks can also break up Covington’s rhythm, and give Tyron opportunities to close the distance and employ his “dirty boxing” strategy. Woodley does not have a cardio or activity advantage, so he has to use these opportunities to rest in fight, as well as score punches, elbows, and knees on Colby. This should soften up Colby enough to land your combinations, and set up a knock out. Trying to outscore Colby Covington in a boxing match is not in the cards, and is a recipe for disaster. Woodley must go for a finish if he wants to win this fight.

How does Colby Covington win?
Fight tall, but keep your head moving. Covington has a 2 inch height advantage, that will help him guide his jab toward Woodley’s chest, to set up his combinations. Absorb no leg kicks, and try to check them all. Colby’s biggest advantage is his cardio, so why not preserve your legs to take advantage of it? Colby must step back and to his right to avoid Woodley’s lead right hands. Counter with softer combinations, punctuated with a power punch and make sure you score in the eye of the judges, as activity is usually a winning trait on score cards. Colby’s path to victory is 180 degrees different than Woodley’s, while Tyron’s path consists of trying to create a finish, Colby must resist the urge to expose himself in an exchange, and just keep plotting away with his boxing, and score the easy win.

Prediction: Colby Covington (-420) wins by Unanimous Decision over Tyron Woodley (+255).

The rest of the main card consists of:

Donald Cerrone 36-15-0 +120
Niko Price 14-4-0 -175


Khamzat Chimaev 8-0-0 -480
Gerald Meerschaert 31-13-0 +285


Johnny Walker 17-5-0 -135
Ryan Spann 18-5-0 -105

Mackenzie Dern 8-1-0 -190
Randa Markos 10-9-1 +130

Kevin Holland 18-5-0 -295
Darren Stewart 12-5-0 +195

All UFC Fight Night Odds cited are via SPREADS

Alfredo Arteaga (@Alf_Arteaga) is one-third of the trio on the Three Yards Per Carry (@3YardsPerCarry) podcast.

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