Ahh, a good old fashion grudge match. The last time these two fought, nearly 2 years ago, Colby gave Kamaru his toughest challenge in his 18-fight win streak. After a mutually brutal 24 minutes in the cage, Kamaru finished Colby in the 5th round with less than a minute to go. Colby says he’s back with a vengeance, and intends to inflict “life-altering damage” on “Marty FakeNewsman”, the “CEO of EPO.” Kamaru is taking a more dismissive approach, proclaiming he will prove that Colby is just another one of his sons. The best part? We get to find out who is right at around midnight CST tomorrow.
Keys to Victory: Covington
Colby needs to impose his will on Usman, exactly how he does to everyone who isn’t Usman: by using his wrestling, pressure, and cardio as a weapon. Colby is not a power striker, but he wears down just about everyone he fights to the point where they are simply too tired to fight back. He did not attempt one takedown against Usman last fight, despite being a former Division 1 All-American wrestler. Kamaru, a Division II National Champion is one of the best grapplers in the UFC as well, but the threat of a takedown needs to be there to avoid this being a kickboxing match, a place where Kamaru has the advantage.
Keys to Victory: Usman
Take away Colby’s gas tank. Invest in the body early, like last fight, to take away Colby’s greatest strength, his cardio. Body kick. Straight right to the bread basket. Left hook to the liver. Wear him down before he can wear you down. Defend the takedown so that his takedown attempts are nothing more than wasted energy. Then once Colby can’t outpace you, let the hands fly. Make him worry about the stinging jab until the 2 opens up.
Official prediction: Colby Covington Wins by Decision. 48-47
For 4 main reasons:
- Colby is going to wrestle this time. Though it’s a toss-up, I’m taking the D1 All-American over the D2 National Champ.
- Kamaru is already talking about a boxing match with Canelo after this fight, while the only thing on Colby’s mind is vengeance.
- Kamaru’s head coach, Trevor Wittman, while genius, has had his attention split between Kamaru’s 5th title defense, Thug Rose’s title defense against Weili Zheng, and Justin Gaethje’s number one contender bout against Michael Chandler, all on the same card. How much time has he had to dedicate to Usman’s game plan?
- Kamaru has had his last 3 title defenses against former lightweights. Covington is a true welterweight who has been exclusively training to beat Usman, with a new coaching staff focused almost exclusively on Colby
For these reasons, Colby gets it done, barely. In his words, he is going to use the new software he’s downloaded from his new coaches to “ctrl +alt + delete” Usman, setting the stage for the biggest rubbermatch in the history of the UFC Welterweight division.