The final co-main event at UFC Vegas 11 on Saturday is a welterweight bout between No. 2 contender Colby Covington and No. 5 Tyron Woodley at the Apex facility in Vegas.
UFC Vegas 11 Betting Odds
Coming off a KO loss to division champion Kamaru Usman, Covington is the favourite in this fight at -280 on the MMA odds, while former division champion Woodley is +200.
Colby Covington Fight Night Odds
The 32-year-old Covington (15-2-0) is coming off a title fight where he suffered a tough fifth-round knockout to welterweight champion Kamaru Usman at UFC 245 in December. Before that loss he was riding a seven-fight win streak and a victory over Woodley on Saturday likely puts him back into title contention, while a second straight loss would certainly drop him in the rankings.
While Covington is seen as an unrelenting pressure fighter with high-volume striking and he also averages more significant strikes landed per minute than Woodley (Covington 3.9, Woodley 2.44), grappling is what separates these two fighters. Covington was a Top-10 collegiate wrestler and likes to smother his opponents. He averages 5.69 takedowns per 15 minutes with 51 per cent takedown accuracy compared to Woodley’s 0.39 average per 15 minutes with 33 per cent accuracy.
This is a huge fight for Covington. A loss could mean a long wait before he gets another title shot while a win puts him back at the top of the title contender’s list. Look for him to fight smart and wear down Woodley with his striking ability before he tries to finish him on the ground.
Tyron Woodley Fight Night Odds
We might be seeing a decline in 38-year-old Tyron Woodley (19-5-1) as he comes into Saturday on the first two-fight losing streak of his career. The former welterweight champion for almost three years, Woodley’s two-fight slide started when he lost his welterweight belt via unanimous decision to Kamaru Usman at UFC 235 in March 2019. He last fought in May, suffering another unanimous decision loss, this time to Gilbert Burns, in what looked like a lopsided fight.
Woodley’s main advantage over Covington is his experience. While his average of 2.44 significant strikes landed per minute isn’t as good as Covington’s number of 3.9, his 47 per cent accuracy is much better than Covington’s 37 per cent mark. Essentially, he waits out opponents and understands the best time to strike. He can also beat you multiple ways with seven wins by KO or TKO and five by submission. Combine all that with his 56 per cent accuracy blocking opponents significant strikes and 90 per cent takedown defense, the former champion is still a very dangerous fighter.
After this fight Woodley will have fought the top three ranked welterweight fighters in just over a year, going the distance through five rounds with Usman and Burns. Woodley is less than two years removed from holding the welterweight belt and he is out to prove he still has a lot left in the tank.
UFC Fight Night Prediction: Covington vs. Woodley
Woodley has more experience and a two-inch reach advantage, but Covington is six years younger and at the peak of his career. Expect this fight to go the distance, but Covington’s high-tempo striking and wrestling ability should help him win a unanimous decision.