UFC 245: Usman vs. Covington Predictions & Betting Tips

UFC 245 Predictions

UFC 245 Main Card (PPV)

Kamaru Usman vs. Colby Covington

What a great fight this is to close out the UFC’s last major pay-per-view of the year, with Usman and Covington both being at the peak of their powers and having similar strong points that will make it fascinating to be able to see who comes out on top.

At their core both men are dominant wrestlers first and foremost and together with terrific cardio that makes them a daunting prospect for almost anyone else, but against each other that could easily lead to something of a stalemate, although I do feel Usman may have a strength advantage, which may help in the clinch, and has the more dangerous ground and pound if he can take the fight to the mat.

What’s really helped make these two fighters stand out though in a competitive division is that they’ve also stepped up their striking, utilizing their endless energy reserves to implement a high-output, pressure-heavy style of offense that their opponents haven’t been able to keep up with.

Covington in particular has an absolutely relentless punching style that even shut down Robbie Lawler’s offense, but if there’s one issue with that it’s that he never puts much into his punches, instead using it to keep his opponents out of their element and win rounds by the sheer numbers he’s putting up.

I’d say Usman is the more assured striker of the two though and that’s backed up by the fact he’s the heavier hitter and will also enjoy a 4” reach advantage, while he’s also more adept at transitioning between his striking and wrestling, which could be important here to stifle the volume coming from ‘Chaos.’

It’s a fight that’s almost too close to call, but I think either way it’s going to be a close decision and at a push I’ll take Usman’s strength, power and fight IQ to edge him to victory.

Prediction: Kamaru Usman wins by decision – Bet Now

Max Holloway vs. Alex Volkanovski

There’s another excellent match-up in the co-main event as Holloway looks to continue his dominance at 145lbs against the so-far unstoppable Volkanovski.

Volkanovski is definitely a worth challenger with his strong wrestling game and athleticism meaning that Holloway will have to constantly be on his guard, but what makes him all the more of a problem is that he’s also shown an evolving striking game too, and blending his skills together to become a more complete fighter.

Nevertheless, it will still be a daunting challenge going up against a master striking technician like Holloway with his laser-accurate combinations, distance management and razor-sharp takedown defense.

One interesting point to note is that though Holloway is 5” taller, he’s actually at a 2.5” arm reach advantage compared to Volkanovski, though he makes up for that with with a 6” leg reach advantage.

There’s certainly a route to victory her for Volkanovski if he can establish himself as a takedown threat early and then unsettle the champion on the feet by keeping him guessing as to whether he’s going to strike or wrestle, but overall I still feel that Holloway’s elite striking and trusty takedown defense will win out here over the course of five rounds to claim another successful title defense on the scorecards.

Prediction: Max Holloway to win by decision – Bet Now

Amanda Nunes vs. Germaine de Randamie

Nunes has ran through so many top-flight talents that she’s now going for a second lap as  she fights De Randamie again, having TKO’d her in the first round back in 2013 – the only loss of GDR’s seven fight UFC run to date.

De Randamie came into the UFC as a top-flight kickboxing talent and Nunes took advantage of that by getting her to the mat and beating her up for a TKO stoppage.

In the years since I don’t see much to suggest that the same thing couldn’t happen again, or potentially Nunes could also flex her submission skills too, which would also give GDR with serious problems she’s unlikely to be able to cope with.

On the feet it is somewhat interesting though as De Randamie is very skilled technically and has power too, so Nunes will have to be careful as she is quite offensively minded and could leave herself open to being caught by something big.

However, Nunes isn’t as wild as she once was, yet she’s still as much of a finisher as ever, thanks to a potent mix of speed, power and accuracy.

Overall I just feel that Nunes is in her prime, is the far more well-rounded fighter with more ways to win, and will emerge with a TKO stoppage in the third round, perhaps via ground and pound if not on the feet.

Prediction: Amanda Nunes to win by TKO in Rd3 – Bet Now

Marlon Moraes vs. Jose Aldo

Much is being made of the fact that Aldo is dropping down a weight class at this late stage in his career, and rightly so as he’s often had difficulties making the limit safely even at 145lbs, and he was already looking very lean and a little gaunt before fight week.

Even casting that aside this is still a tricky fight for the former champion, as though Moraes is coming off a loss to current champion Henry Cejudo, he still remains a fast, dynamic, hard-hitting striker and a proven finisher.

I’d still give the technical edge in the striking to Aldo though and he’ll have a three-inch reach advantage to go along with it, so there are reasons for optimism if the concerns about his weight cut prove to be unfounded.

Nevertheless, I think it’s a big enough red flag to be wary of picking Aldo here, especially against a fast, combustible fighter like Moraes, who won’t give him time to adjust to life at bantamweight as he starts fast and then keeps the tempo high for the full rounds to win by decision.

Prediction: Marlon Moraes to win by decision – Bet Now

Urijah Faber vs. Petr Yan

It was nice to see Faber return to the Octagon after having second thoughts on retirement and emerge with a victory earlier this year, but that’s now set him up for a tough fight with one of the division’s fastest rising talents in Yan.

Currently on a five-fight unbeaten stretch since joining the UFC, Yan has proven to be a fearless striker who will apply a great deal of forward pressure with a high output of hard punches and kicks, yet also maintains a relatively solid defense.

I think Yan’s offense could give Faber real problems on the feet, so ‘The California Kid’ will surely be looking to his wrestling to try to stamp his authority on the fight, but so far Yan has shown he’s also adept at staying upright.

I think that’s going to spell trouble for Faber, who will soon begin to struggle under the onslaught of offense coming his way, leading to a second round stoppage victory for Yan.

Prediction: Peter Yan to win  by TKO in Rd2 – Bet Now

UFC 245 Prelims

(Predicted winners in bold)

Geoff Neal vs. Mike Perry

Ketlen Vieira vs. Irene Aldana

Omari Akhmedov vs. Ian Heinisch

Matt Brown vs. Ben Saunders

UFC 245 Fight Pass Prelims

Chase Hooper vs. Daniel Teymur

Brandon Moreno vs. Kai Kara-France

Jessica Eye vs. Viviane Araujo

Punahele Soriano vs. Oskar Piechota

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