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Welcome back, Colby Covington. It was just over a year ago that Covington took out Rafael dos Anjos to win the Interim Welterweight title at UFC 225. We haven’t seen him since. Meanwhile, Robbie Lawler has lost three of his last four fights, although those results are a bit cloudy. After his KO loss to Tyron Woodley, he picked up a close decision win over Donald Cerrone, dropped a one-sided decision to the aforementioned dos Anjos and nearly finished Ben Askren before getting stopped in controversial fashion. Covington is a sizeable favorite, although both guys have similar odds of finishing the fight. Covington’s ticket to a victory comes from his wrestling. He is averaging 5.6 takedowns per 15 minutes in his UFC career, with a success rate of 51%. He’ll have the ability to accumulate takedown points if he’s able to drag Lawler to the canvas.
Lawler has defended 69% of takedowns attempted which is nice. Robbie, on the other hand, is going to try and put Colby to sleep. I expect Covington to have his chin tested in this one. Colby shouldn’t be able to compete on the feet, which is good for Lawler, as he has absorbed 5.47 strikes per minute in his career. That damage takes a toll, but shouldn’t be all that relevant in this one. I prefer Covington here, unfortunately. If he can establish the grappling early, I expect him to put up a FP total well north of 100. Meanwhile, it’s been a long time since Lawler legit finished someone. He has the TKO win over Rory MacDonald, but that was after 20 absolutely brutal minutes. You would have to go all the way back to Jake Ellenberger at UFC 173 (Note: The main event of that card was Barao/Dillashaw).
Could Robbie put Colby to sleep? Absolutely. Right now, Lawler has a 25% chance of ending the fight early. At $7200, I will absolutely be using him in GPPs, but Covington is the better play in this fight, both in cash and GPPs.
For a second, I thought I was writing up the main event of a 2012 Fight Night card on Spike. Clay Guida getting a semi main event slot in 2019 off of a win against BJ Penn is something else. Miller comes in as the favorite, and he has a 33% chance to finish this fight based on the current betting lines. Meanwhile, a finish from Guida happens just 10% of the time, which is tied for the lowest rate on the card. If Miller wins inside distance, you would expect it to come via submission. Three of Guida’s last four losses have come via submission. Ultimately, I don’t really love this fight. Miller needs a finish to be viable at $8900. Guida’s odds say he won’t get one. I don’t expect to have much exposure to either fighter in either format.
Claudio Silva is the most expensive fighter on the card, and he should be. It’s crazy to think that he has a split decision win over Leon Edwards from back in 2014. Silva should overwhelm and finish the debuting Cole Williams. Right now, Silva is the only fighter on the card that has a >50% chance of winning inside distance. That’s good enough for me.
If Silva isn’t your guy, Scott Holtzman probably is. Holtzman has the second highest odds of finishing the fight and is tied with Silva as the biggest overall favorite. He’s a better striker and less hittable than Ma, and he has a much bigger edge in grappling. Holtzman should drag Ma to the ground and bludgeon him into a stoppage.
If you’re looking for a GPP play, Darko Stosic has a 41% chance of finishing inside of distance. The fight is largely a coinflip, so I like targeting guys like Stosic in the mid range. Stosic is a tank, so don’t be surprised to see him turn Nzechukwu’s lights off.
Good luck this weekend!