UFC Fight Night: Covington vs. Woodley (TV: ESPN+)
Saturday, September 19th, Prelims 5:00 PM ET (ESPN+), Main Card 8:00 PM ET (ESPN+), UFC APEX, Las Vegas, Nevada
Middleweight Fight: Khamzat Chimaev (8-0) vs. Gerald Meerschaert (31-13)
Fight odds: Khamzat Chimaev -450 Gerald Meerschaert +360
Welterweight Fight: Niko Price (14-4) vs. Donald Cerrone (36-15)
Fight odds: Niko Price -140 Donald Cerrone +120
Welterweight Fight: Colby Covington (15-2) vs. Tyron Woodley (19-5-1)
Fight odds: Colby Covington -340 Tyron Woodley +280
The UFC will continue to put on fights from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada with UFC Fight Night: Covington vs. Woodley. This will be the last fight in Vegas before the UFC goes back to Fight Island to put on fights from Abu Dhabi. There have been some big developments in the sport with Daniel Cormier retiring and Jon Jones vacating his Light Heavyweight Title before moving up to heavyweight. The new light heavyweight champion will be decided next Saturday between Jan Blachowicz and Dominick Reyes. After beating Daniel Cormier twice, Stipe Miocic could be defending his Title against Jon Jones. Francis Ngannou deserves the next Title shot after his impressive knockout in his last fight. Michael Chandler has now signed with the UFC from Bellator and is ready to prove he is a top lightweight.
The third fight on the card this Saturday will be between Khamzat Chimaev and Gerald Meerschaert. Chimaev could be the most dominant fighter in the sport after his first two amazing wins in the UFC. Chimaev has the ultimate confidence and fights with a certain special quality that makes him look like he’s on another level than most fighters. The way that Chimaev can control his opponent’s body while wrestling reminds me only of Khabib Nurmagomedov which is a pretty lofty comparison, but he deserves it. Expect Chimaev to once again dominate his opponent and get a submission win. Chimaev combines dominant wrestling with vicious ground and pound to not give his opponents any time to breathe and have a chance in the fight. Chimaev seems destined for greatness and could soon be fighting for the Title.
The Co-Main Event features Niko Price against Donald Cerrone. Cerrone is a legend, but is coming off 4 straight losses and really needs a win to prove he can still compete with top fighters. Cerrone utilizes striking versatility with kicks and punches to beat fighters. Price is a high energy fighter that is capable of overwhelming opponents with his pace, pressure and unorthodox movement. This should be an exciting fight between two fan friendly fighters that should feature some back and forth action. Expect Price to win this fight because of his youth, speed and pressure.
The Main Event on the fight card features two welterweights that both need a win to get back into Title contention. Colby Covington against Tyron Woodley will feature two fighters that have both lost to the reigning champion, Kamaru Usman. Covington definitely fought the more competitive fight against Usman before getting finished in the 5th Round. Woodley has put on two uninspiring performances against Usman and Gilbert Burns and did not fight with the necessary energy, determination or pace to have a chance to win those fights.
Woodley will need to fight with a different level of intensity against Covington if he wants to have a chance of getting the upset. Covington should have the advantage in pace, stamina, wrestling and pressure. Woodley may have the advantage in strength and punching power, but will need to show a will to win to have a chance against the relentless Covington. Expect Covington to win by unanimous decision because of higher striking activity and stifling pressure that will force Woodley to fight from a defensive position. This should be a great night of fights and don’t forget to tune in next Saturday for UFC 253: Adesanya vs. Costa.