UFC 245: Usman vs. Covington (TV: Early Prelims ESPN +, Prelims ESPN2, Main Card ESPN + PPV)
Saturday, December 14th, Early Prelims 6:30 PM ET Prelims 8: 00 PM ET Main Card 10:00 PM ET, T Mobile Arena, (Las Vegas)
Women’s Bantamweight: Amanda Nunes (18-4) vs Germaine De Randamie (9-3)
Betting Odds: Amanda Nunes -300, Germaine De Randamie +240
Men’s Featherweight: Max Holloway (21-4) vs Alexander Volkanovski (20-1)
Betting Odds: Max Holloway -170, Alexander Volkanovski +150
Men’s Welterweight: Kamaru Usman (15-1) vs Colby Covington (15-1)
Betting Odds: Kamaru Usman -175, Colby Covington +155
UFC 245: USMAN VS. COVINGTON
UFC 245 is the final pay per view event for the UFC in 2019. For this reason the company have stacked the card with 3 title fights back to back at the top of the main card. The first of these is a women’s bantamweight title fight between double champ Amanda “Lioness” Nunes and the challenger Germaine “The Iron Lady” De Randamie. Following this is a battle for men’s featherweight gold between the champion Max “Blessed” Holloway and the challenger, undefeated in the UFC Alexander “The Great” Volkanovski. Topping off the main card is a bout between two competitors with well-publicized detest for each other, a men’s welterweight title fight between the champion Kamaru “The Nigerian Nightmare” Usman and the number two ranked challenger Colby “Chaos” Covington.
NUNES VS. DE RANDAMIE
Coming off a first-round knockout of Holly Holm, Amanda Nunes looks to add another defence to her reign as champion at 135 pounds. In order to do this, she will have to defeat the challenger Germaine De Randamie. De Randamie is coming off a first-round TKO of previously undefeated rising prospect Aspen Ladd in July. This is not the first time the two fighters have shared the octagon as Nunes previously defeated De Randamie via TKO in November of 2013.
In their first meeting, Nunes was able to utilise her grappling background securing a takedown midway through the first round allowing her to finish De Randamie with elbows from mount. While both fighters have evolved greatly since there first bout, Nunes will look to utilise the same strategy in order to secure a victory in their rematch.
Being an accomplished Muay Thai fighter boasting an undefeated record of 46-0 with 30 knockouts De Randamie is going to look to keep the fight standing. Utilising her 2-inch reach advantage she will look to use her jab and kicks in order to keep Nunes at a distance. Being the explosive striker she is Nunes is most likely to be the aggressor from the bell. Closing the distance and throwing strikes from within the pocket will allow her to pressure De Randamie against the cage where she can begin to work takedowns. If successful Nunes will look to move to mount where she can land a barrage of ground and pound in order to wear down her opponent and finish the fight. Both fighters have grown since the first encounter, while less technical I do believe Nunes to be the more effective striker on the feet, this mixed with her high level grappling should result in another successful title defence.
HOLLOWAY VS VOLKANOVSKI
The second title fight of the evening will see Alexander Volkanovski challenge Max Holloway for the Featherweight belt. Coming off a dominant win against long-reigning former champion Jose Aldo, Volkanovski has been sat out waiting for his opportunity to face Holloway. After a failed attempt to claim the interim Lightweight Belt Max Holloway moved back down to Featherweight successfully defending against former Lightweight champion Frankie Edgar raising his total of successful defences to 4.
The key to victory for Volkanovski in this fight is to apply
constant pressure to Holloway keeping him on the back foot with the intention
of working him on the cage. One of Volkanovski’s greatest assets is his ability
to overwhelm his opponents with nonstop pressure, making his way to the cage
utilising the clinch to provide a barrage of strikes.
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