You will be hard pressed to find a better Fight Night card over the last 12 months as the UFC has provided us the perfect lead up card to Adesanya vs. Costa next week. The UFC Apex Centre is the host for the final time before the organisation heads back to ‘Fight Island’ for next week’s UFC 253. Headlining this card is a bad blood match up between Welterweight giants, Tyron Woodley and Colby Covington. We also see Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone face off against the always entertaining Niko Price as well as the return of Johnny Walker and the newly hyped Khamzat Chimaev.
There are plenty of fights that would make great wagers that haven’t quite made the cut as my main selections but deserve an honourable mention. Meerschaert is grossly underrated by the market due to the hype train that is Chimaev. Chimaev is yet to face anyone of note until now and the $4.50 on offer for the veteran Meerschaert looks juicy. On the undercard Jessica-Rose Clark, Mirsad Bektic and Mayra Bueno Silva all look comfortable winners and could be combined into a multi. Also the coin flip rated fight for David Dvorak is crazy as he holds an inconceivable power advantage in what looks to be a fight where they will go shot for shot. Snap that $1.90 up right away. Now onto the other selections on what looks a great card of fights and bets.
After a rivalry that has seemed to drag on, they are able to settle the score this weekend. Covington had his seven-fight winning streak broken the last time he made the walk to the Octagon, losing his title fight to Kamaru Usman. Woodley has had a horrible fall from grace it must be said, losing his last two fights in rather embarrassing fashion, which saw him fail to win a single round in either fight. He has often played the counterpuncher, waiting for his opponent to overextend before he employs his textbook pull back right hand, but of late it seems that fighters have him figured out and fellow wrestlers are the worst match ups for him. He fights in a way where his output is limited and rather exerts himself in bursts. While he has fared well against southpaw fighters, which Covington is, in the past his lack of output means the only way he wins is by stopping Covington which is a tough ask.
Colby is the perfect MMA bad guy and whether you like his gimmick or not, the guy can fight. He imposes a pressure and output that is near impossible to match and really would be expecting to win this fight. He will sit behind his jab, pushing Woodley back to the fence before shooting double leg after double leg and using his excellent chain wrestling to get Woodley to the ground and grind out a decision. Ultimately, I see Covington winning a comfortable decision, but Woodley will be dangerous early and a little saver on him winning by KO at $6 wouldn’t go astray. At the end of the day though I have to go with Covington to get the win and this will give the UFC and Woodley a real dilemma of where to next for the former Welterweight king.
Johnny Walker was touted as the man to beat Job Jones this time last year but has since found himself on the end of a vicious round 1 KO defeat and a decision loss in his last two fights. I am however, backing him to bounce back here against Ryan Spann. The explosive Brazilian has power that has seen him flatten many fighters in the past and meets an opponent in Ryan Spann that although winning all three of his UFC fights has failed to beat either Trevin Giles or Karl Roberson prior to joining the UFC, who for mine are the only two of note that could hang with Johnny Walker. Walker will try to keep this standing and knock out Spann and Spann will look to get it to the mat, find the back of Walker and lock in a choke. I see it more likely being the former, with Johnny Walker getting back in the headlines for some flash KO from a spinning attack.
Both these fighters waste no time in the cage and love to go bonus hunting and that is a recipe for a short fight. Journey Newson is a striker who has dabbled in the world of boxing before returning to MMA and along with some crisp boxing has a surprisingly crafty ground game. His opponent, Randy Costa has no interest in going to the ground and his four professional bouts before joining the UFC lasted a combined 2 minutes and 50 seconds. He came out swinging in his Octagon debut before being put away on the mat but bounced back in his last outing stopping Boston Sammon in the first round in what was a great performance. I believe Costa gets the early knockout here in what will be a crazy fight for as long as it lasts.
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