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UFC 245: Usman vs. Covington (12/14/2019) - Las Vegas, NV (T-Mobile Arena)

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UFC 245: Usman vs. Covington 
December 14, 2019
Las Vegas, NV (T-Mobile Arena)

UFC Welterweight Championship: Kamaru Usman © (170) vs. Colby Covington (170) (first defense) - Usman, TKO (punches), R5 (4:10)
UFC Featherweight Championship: Max Holloway © (145) vs. Alexander Volkanovski (144.5) (fourth defense) - Volkanovski, DEC (unanimous)
UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship: Amanda Nunes © (134.5) vs. Germaine de Randamie (134.5) (fifth defense) - Nunes, DEC (unanimous)
Marlon Moraes (135.5) vs. José Aldo (136) - Moraes, DEC (split)
Petr Yan (135.5) vs. Urijah Faber (135.5) - Yan, KO (head kick), R3 (0:43)

ESPN2 Preliminary Card:
Geoff Neal (170) vs. Mike Perry (170.5) - Neal, TKO (strikes), R1 (1:30)
Ketlen Vieira (136) vs. Irene Aldana (135.5) - Aldana, KO (punches), R1 (4:51)
Ian Heinisch (185.5) vs. Omari Akhmedov (185.5) - Akhmedov, DEC (unanimous)
Matt Brown (171) vs. Ben Saunders (170) - Brown, TKO (elbow and punches), R2 (4:55)

Fight Pass Preliminary Card:
Chase Hooper (144.5) vs. Daniel Teymur (144.5) - Hooper, TKO (elbows and punches), R1 (4:34)
Brandon Moreno (125.5) vs. Kai Kara-France (125.5) - Moreno, DEC (unanimous)
Jessica Eye (131)* vs. Viviane Araujo (126) - Eye, DEC (unanimous)
Punahele Soriano (185.5) vs. Oskar Piechota (186) - Soriano, KO (punch), R1 (3:17)

*Forfeits 30% of purse for missing weight

Event Bonuses ($50,000)
Performance of the Night: Irene Aldana
Performance of the Night: Petr Yan
Fight of the Night: Kamaru Usman vs. Colby Covington

Attendance: 16,811
Gate: $4.04 million

Cancelled Fights:     
Sergio Pettis vs. Kai Kara-France - Bout Nixed
Robbie Lawler vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio - Injury to Ponzinibbio (Staph Infection)
 

Edited by Elsalvajeloco

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What a stacked card.  Any of those three fights in bold could be the main event.

Is it wrong for me to want to see Colby Covington get a Reem style split lip at the hands of Kamaru Usman?

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33 minutes ago, J.T. said:

What a stacked card.  Any of those three fights in bold could be the main event.

Is it wrong for me to want to see Colby Covington get a Reem style split lip at the hands of Kamaru Usman?

Between Bryce Mitchell and Tito clowning Alberto El Patron as expected, the Trump 2020 bandwagon is coming off a big weekend last week. It happens in threes.

Edited by Elsalvajeloco
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I am hoping that Matt Brown / Ben Saunders will be the epic battle of grumpy old men that it looks like on paper.  I don't really care that Ben is on a three fight skid.  I love that the guy is feast of famine.

Edited by J.T.

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That is one of those fights between guys you would have thought already fought each other. However, Saunders did spend two and a half years in Bellator between UFC stints.

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You know I'd really enjoy watching Colby get his ass whipped.....

but....

as we get closer, I kinda want to see Colby win. I think I really am a "some people just want to watch the world burn" kinda guy.

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8 hours ago, jaedmc said:

You know I'd really enjoy watching Colby get his ass whipped.....

but....

as we get closer, I kinda want to see Colby win. I think I really am a "some people just want to watch the world burn" kinda guy.

Ehn, I can't get with that.  I was really impressed with Usman as a person during that JRE interview where Kamaru and Joe talked about how Tyron Woodley's mother may be one of the greatest people on planet earth.

Not really sure if Colby's MAGA schtick is real or if it is just a gimmick for the lolz, but his bullshit will get even worse if there is an undisputed belt around his waist so I'm hoping that Kamaru goes to pound town on the guy.

Colby will be no pushover, though.  Kamaru will have to be focused and bring in an extremely tight game plan.

The weigh-in should be a fucking circus.

Edited by J.T.
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20 minutes ago, J.T. said:

Ehn, I can't get with that.  I was really impressed with Usman as a person during that JRE interview where Kamaru and Joe talked about how Tyron Woodley's mother may be one of the greatest people on planet earth.

Not really sure if Colby's MAGA schtick is real or if it is just a gimmick for the lolz, but his bullshit will get even worse if there is a belt around his waist so I'm hoping that Kamaru goes to pound town on the guy.

Colby will be no pushover, though.  Kamaru will have to be focused and bring in an extremely tight game plan.

The weigh-in should be a fucking circus.

They're doing a champions and challengers Q&A panel right now w/ the challengers up now.

We're getting some gems right now:

The one thing I don't need in my life is Candace Owens doing something in partnership with the UFC.

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I don't know why, but Colby's tweet about Candace Owens reminds me of the part of Deep Cover where David Jason rambles on to John / Russell about why he only enjoys having sex with black women.

Kamaru really needs to do me a solid and destroy this kid's soft palate en route to victory, but you can't sleep on Covington's skills and I have to give the grudging respect nod to a shit talker that backs up his garbage with wins in the cage..

This is the big stage that Colby's been waiting to perform on and if it's one thing this asshole loves, it's theatrics.  He's ready to put on a show; the most important one to date of his entire career.

Edited by J.T.
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Maybe Colby overwhelms Usman with his striking output and pressure but I think there are leagues between them in the strength department and that Kamaru will be able to dictate where the fight takes place with his wrestling.

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Four days to fight night and GdR has not come down with a mysterious stomach ailment or had a shockingly sudden family emergency.  This fight with Nunes may actually be a thing..

1 hour ago, Oyaji said:

Maybe Colby overwhelms Usman with his striking output and pressure but I think there are leagues between them in the strength department and that Kamaru will be able to dictate where the fight takes place with his wrestling.

Kamaru is scary strong, but Colby has made a career out of nullifying power guys, whether they be strikers or grapplers.  He's a superb striker and his ground game may be solid enough to counter Kamaru's wrestling.

As much as I hate to admit it, my gut tells me that Colby will probably bug bite and frustrate his way to a UD win and his first undisputed title.  

Uncle Fester may want to book Candace Owen's flight to Vegas as soon as possible.

Edited by J.T.
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1 hour ago, J.T. said:

Four days to fight night and GdR has not come down with a mysterious stomach ailment or had a shockingly sudden family emergency.  This fight with Nunes may actually be a thing..

To be fair, Amanda Nunes pulled out of her fight at UFC 213 the day of after the doctors had cleared her.

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Who is the best wrestler Colby has defeated that actually uses wrestling? I'm not seeing any standouts. Stun Gun's judo?

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18 minutes ago, Elsalvajeloco said:

To be fair, Amanda Nunes pulled out of her fight at UFC 213 the day of after the doctors had cleared her.

Oh, I know.  I just like to make fun of GdR sometimes.  Given her alleged evasion of Cyborg, I'm surprised the fight with Nunes is still on track.  I'll be shocked if GdR lasts more than two rounds.

13 minutes ago, Oyaji said:

Who is the best wrestler Colby has defeated that actually uses wrestling? I'm not seeing any standouts. Stun Gun's judo?

No pure wrestlers per se, but he does have wins over two of the most heralded BJJ guys in the division so I don't think we can just cede the grappling advantage in this fight to Usman. 

Covington has never failed to take down any of his opponents so it is probably in Usman's best interest to be the initiator of the grappling exchanges, makes sure he takes Covington down, and make Colby expend as much energy as possible trying to get back up. 

Usman needs to beat this guy up on the ground and take his heart like he took Woodley's.

Usman's got really heavy hands, but IMO Covington is the better and more technical strikers so Kamaru does not want this thing standing up for an extended period of time.

Edited by J.T.

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And as if on cue, here are the Vegas odds for the main card and Vegas disagrees with my above assessment.

Quote

Kamaru Usman (-185) vs. Colby Covington (+160)
Max Holloway (-170) vs. Alexander Volkanovski (+150)
Amanda Nunes (-280) vs. Germaine de Randamie (+240)
Marlon Moraes (-200) vs. Jose Aldo (+170)
Petr Yan (-475) vs. Urijah Faber (+380)

.Usman is the favorite in the Main Event.

Even if the odds tighten a bit on fight night, I don't think it will be close enough for a pick 'em.

 

 

Edited by J.T.

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I would put money on an Usman decision if I were a betting man, but I am not. Maia, as great as his ground game is, struggles to get opponents down with his shitty wrestling and again... Demian Maia and Kamaru Usman physically may as well be playing different sports. RDA transformed himself into a striker years ago and usually takedowns are plan B, so neither are wrestlers or even all that accomplished takedown artists. Usman lands every other takedown he goes for and he goes for a lot.

I'm not saying that Colby couldn't win, but he hasn't felt Usman's wrestling power game yet. I hope Covington's schlocky self is eating Usman's elbows all night long.

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I'm trying to maintain objectivity so that I won't be seething on Sunday morning should Colby win.

In my heart, yes.  I really hope Kamaru smashes him to pieces but to do that is to sleep on a really talented fighter with a 15-1 record who hasn't exactly fought tomato cans his entire career.

Covington is the white Rory Breaker.  The MAGA thing as they say is a cunning quasi-façade designed to make you underestimate him.

And yes, Colby hasn't faced too many power grapplers, but he has beaten one or two guys who were more powerful than him.  He's not really intimidated by physical strength, so he won't wilt immediately if Kamaru brings it.  That's the factor that may win him the fight.

I hate to use corny fight adages but Kamaru has to break Colby's confidence first and the rest will follow.  I would like to see Kamaru break Colby's confidence with these elbows that you speak of.  Lots of them.

Edited by J.T.

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14 minutes ago, Oyaji said:

Who is the best wrestler Colby has defeated that actually uses wrestling? I'm not seeing any standouts. Stun Gun's judo?

The thing here is because he came out of the gate so strong in terms of being a dominating wrestler himself, the guys who I would say aren't natural wrestlers but use wrestling against non wrestlers like Max Griffin and Bryan Barberena spent most of their time fending off takedowns. Warlley Alves and RDA (who BTW actually took Covington down when they fought for the interim WW title)...again two non-wrestlers who can use wrestling effectively against normally anybody else. Other than Usman and Woodley who he was suppose to fight before that, who the hell at WW are you really going to put in there with Colby who will do what he has done to several other people? Leon Edwards is a pretty good wrestler for someone from a country that isn't known for wrestling, but Colby would eat him up. Belal Muhammad would get outstruck. I believe he would have outstruck Askren as well. I don't like Rustam Khabilov's upside at 170. I like Kevin Lee as a fighter, but the RDA fight earlier this year showed he didn't belong at 170 and that turned out to be a blessing since he got that big win over Gregor Gillespie back down at 155. The other good to great wrestlers at 170 are the current champ and the previous champ. That's the same problem Usman ran into on the way up as well which is why I brought it up anytime either guy fought before they both got into the title picture how their careers are running parallel to each other.

31 minutes ago, J.T. said:

Oh, I know.  I just like to make fun of GdR sometimes.  Given her alleged evasion of Cyborg, I'm surprised the fight with Nunes is still on track. 

Cyborg still had that aura about herself though that Nunes even with domination doesn't have still. Plus, they (Amanda and Germaine) already fought under much different circumstances at different stages of their career. I don't think the Cyborg situation was a good play by Germaine but other fighters have done it (moreso in boxing). The failed drug test and the visual aesthetic of fighters who have failed tests before is a solid get-out-of-jail free card. The thing is in the UFC...that's a giant no-no when you're the champ and one that hasn't earned the reputation of being willing to fight anyone even though Germaine was fighting grown dudes in the Netherlands during her kickboxing days so that itself is ridiculous in trying to shame her specifically.

Quote

I'll be shocked if GdR lasts more than two rounds.

Back to what I touched on a little bit above...the first fight was at a much different stage in both women's careers. Plus, the fight played out that way. You had a woman who I would call still very much a kickboxer who didn't have a greatest training situation at the time against someone in Amanda Nunes who I don't think was a third as good as she is now who could rely on the backup plan of being a good ground fighter against a woman who would have throughly mopped her up in terms of striking at that particular point. So what happened? Nunes gets an rudimental takedown against someone who at the point still didn't know what a takedown was and that's pretty much a wrap. Since then, de Randamie's takedown defense is markedly better and she can sit down on her punches without the fear of being taken down which made her extremely deadly as a kickboxer pre-MMA. With Amanda, she has found a way to be diverse in her striking since going to American Top Team that what she was able to do against hapless fighters like Shayna Baszler she can now do to the elite of the division. It's one thing to be a frontrunner which her career was trending towards being before winning the title and another to make it finally click. I think both have huge question marks though. I don't know how Germaine will respond if she is put on her back again by Amanda. That's never been her element and never will be. Also, when you take more risks you open yourself up to much more coming back at you. The Holly Holm fight where Germaine won the inaugural FW title shows she can be stunned which NEVER happened when she was a kickboxer. She barely got touched. In addition, Germaine has been in MMA for 11 years this month and maybe a serious one for five or six years. Before that, she had a long kickboxing career. By all rights, she should be an OLD thirty five. The one thing that has helped her stay at this level is again, she never got touched in her previous fighting endeavor. Besides Holly Holm and some GnP from Nunes in the first fight which didn't do any damage really, no one in MMA has been able to do anything to her. At the same time though, her reflexes have been her gift in that because she can see everything coming her way because no one has been at her level, she doesn't have to be a defensive genius. The one thing I find most intriguing about this matchup is who does the pressing which leads me to questions surrounding Amanda. In the first fight, she wanted no part of Germaine standing which is completely understandable. In this fight, I very much expect Amanda to press her which is the inverse of the first fight. However, I don't see Germaine just backing up and trying to get away. I expect them to meet head up. My curiosity is in the idea that Amanda is going to have the desire to show Germaine she has learned some new tricks and she is no longer scared to fight Germaine in her element. You can see where that could be potentially problematic. Honestly, I think Amanda should fight her more reserved like she fought Valentina and wait for some openings. Thus, you eliminate the temptation of doing something stupid (i.e. Werdum against Stipe) and lessen the chance of Germaine doing something miraculous. Can Amanda find the perfect balance of being aggressive and assertive and defensive responsibility? At some point, besides Valentina, she is going to run into someone she cannot straight up mash on. Fortunately for her, very few if any at 135 and especially 145 fit that description. I think Germaine could fall into that category, but again, I've seen Holly Holm get torched by Anne Sophie Mathis and then beat Mathis in the rematch. That's why I was a little bit more adamant about Holm when she fought Nunes. Adversity teaches you a lot about fighters. Even though Germaine obviously isn't undefeated, the amount of adversity she has faced since being in combat sports has been minimum especially for someone who has been fighting most of her life by this point. Now, she is going against someone who recently hasn't experienced any either. Is not taking a backwards step going to cost either woman the fight? That's what I find could be most perplexing once UFC 245 is over. It takes guys usually being 35-0 in boxing with a high KO pct. finally fighting each other for me to say anything could happen. We're getting the best female kickboxer since Lucia Rijker against the best women's MMA fighter ever. That's kinda insane especially considering they already fought before. Now, it means a whole lot for their respective legacies.

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I think the Quintet Ultra grappling tournament happening this week may be the lone bright spot for ex WEC guys because I think Petr Yan may have his coming out party against Faber on top of potentially depleted Aldo facing Marlon Moraes.

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