09 Dec 2019, 18:29 IST

Three title fights headline UFC 245 - one of the best cards of 2019
Three title fights headline UFC 245 – top-of-the-line playing cards of 2019

This weekend sees the ultimate UFC pay-per-view of 2019, and it’s all set to be one of many greatest reveals of the yr, as UFC 245 will function three title fights, in addition to a handful of UFC legends up and down the undercard.

The final time we noticed three title fights on a UFC card was a while in the past – November 2017’s UFC 217 – and this card guarantees to be equally earth-shattering, with the Welterweight title, Featherweight title and Ladies’s Bantamweight title all on the road.

Listed here are the expected outcomes for UFC 245: Usman vs. Covington.

#1 Kamaru Usman vs. Colby Covington

Kamaru Usman is unbeaten in the UFC at 10-0
Kamaru Usman is unbeaten within the UFC at 10-0

This Welterweight title conflict has been a very long time within the making; Covington – who’s presently on a seven-fight successful streak – captured the Interim Welterweight title again in June 2018 with then-champion Tyron Woodley on the shelf, however varied points meant {that a} Woodley/Covington title struggle by no means befell.

As an alternative, Usman – who’s unbeaten within the UFC at 10-0 – ended up taking his shot at Woodley in March, and to the shock of many, he dominated ‘The Chosen One’ over 5 rounds, dethroning him and taking his title within the course of.

The thought of two fighters on such great successful streaks can be intriguing by itself, however there’s a lot extra about this struggle that makes it a fantastic one; each males are amongst the very best wrestlers within the UFC as an entire, not to mention the 170lbs division, however extra importantly, they despise one another.

I don’t wish to get political in an MMA article in fact, however the backstory of a struggle between a Nigerian immigrant in Usman and the Donald Trump-endorsing, quasi-right wing Covington writes itself. Will it translate to {dollars} on the field workplace? The UFC hopes so.

When it comes to the struggle? It’s near name, however personally, I’m favouring Usman. Each males struggle in a similar way; their entire sport is constructed round strain. Each males have been glorious collegiate wrestlers – Usman was an NCAA Division II nationwide champion on the College of Nebraska, whereas Covington was an All-American on the Division I degree and was a two-time Pac-10 Convention champion.

Nevertheless, neither Usman nor Covington is a pure wrestler within the mildew of say, early Josh Koscheck or Brock Lesnar, although. Each males have a tendency to make use of their putting and cardio to pressure their opponents to again up, which then opens them up for the takedown. And as soon as they’ve bought maintain of their opponents, neither man tends to let up, forcing them to the bottom to be fed a gentle eating regimen of punches and elbows.

When it comes to putting, although, it’s ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ who seems to be the extra superior. Usman makes use of his lengthy, rangy body together with his 76” attain to hit his opponents with heavy punches from the surface, and in current fights – most notably in opposition to Woodley and Rafael Dos Anjos – he confirmed a growing jab and a capability to string mixtures collectively, utilizing the uppercut to great impact in his title win.

Covington has displayed a willingness to strike – he even largely stayed on his toes throughout his spectacular win over Robbie Lawler – however he’s additionally far wilder together with his punches and doesn’t have the best defence compared to Usman. Demian Maia as an example landed some heavy pictures on him earlier than succumbing to his takedowns and strain, as did Dos Anjos of their struggle.

Towards Usman, that wildness may nicely discover him in hassle. ‘Chaos’ has by no means confronted an opponent who has been in a position to cease his takedown, and that’s meant that he’s been in a position to throw his wild strikes with little return as his foes have been so involved together with his wrestling sport.

Usman however has by no means been taken down within the UFC – even by Woodley – and seems to hold supernatural energy. Even for a wrestler as expert as Covington, it’s exhausting to think about the Nigerian being placed on his again. And if Covington can’t use that strain sport and take him down, he’s left with a reasonably crude putting arsenal.

Add in the truth that Usman is probably going to have the ability to match the tempo of ‘Chaos’ – he’s by no means gassed within the UFC to this point – and I simply can’t see Covington with the ability to have his traditional success right here. I don’t assume he’s as polished a fighter as Usman and assuming ‘Chaos’ hasn’t completely gotten into his head, then an offended ‘Nigerian Nightmare’ goes to be exhausting to cease.

The Choose: Usman by way of fourth spherical submission

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