UFC 245: Usman vs. Covington predictions
The UFC is in Las Vegas this weekend for UFC 245 as Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington settle the welterweight title picture tonight in the octagon.
Kenai Andrews checks in with his thoughts on the card.
UFC FIGHT PASS PRELIMS (6:30PM ET/3:30PM PT)
PUNAHELE SORIANO (6-0-0) VS. OSKAR PIECHOTA (11-2-1)
Andrews: It’s time for Soriano to tell another story. TKO victory.
Andrews Prediction: Punahele Soriano via TKO
#2 JESSICA EYE (14-7-0, 1NC) VS. #5 VIVIANE ARAJUO (8-1-0)
Andrews: Eye missed weight, but has fought superior competition. This should help her, but Arajuo is on a roll right now. Arajuo piles up the points here with her striking and takes it to the floor if necessary.
Andrews Prediction: Viviane Arajuo via UD
#5 BRANDON MORENO (15-5-1) VS. #6 KAI KARA-FRANCE (20-7-0)
Andrews: Good fight. The aggressiveness of Moreno versus the technical prowess and discipline of Kara-France. Have to go with Kara-France.
Andrews Prediction: Kai Kara-France via UD
CHASE HOOPER (8-0-1) VS. DANIEL TEYMUR (7-3-0)
Andrews: Hooper is making his debut. Teymur recently snapped a three fight losing skid and he will have a big experience advantage. Hooper has the reach and size advantages, but Teymur should be able to get the decision.
Andrews Prediction: Daniel Teymur via UD
PRELIMS (8PM ET/5PM PT)
MATT BROWN (21-16-0) VS. BEN SAUNDERS (22-12-2)
Andrews: Both guys are fading, but Brown should get the win as he is more versatile, just avoid the ground.
Andrews Prediction: Matt Brown via TKO
IAN HEINISCH (13-2-0) VS. OMARI AKHMEDOV (19-4-1)
Andrews: Not expecting much excitement from this one. When the smoke clears, Ian should get the decision.
Andrews Prediction: Ian Heinisch via UD
#2 KETLEN VIEIRA (10-0-0) VS. #10 IRENE ALDANA (11-5-0)
Andrews: This is an important fight for Aldana. Viera is more aggressive but Aldana is more technical. Vieira has a good ground game as well while Aldana’s ground game is more defensive. Hard to call, but I think Vieira takes it.
Andrews Prediction: Ketlen Vieira via UD
#14 GEOFF NEAL (12-2-0) VS. MIKE PERRY (13-5-0)
Andrews: Both guys looked good at the weigh-in. Perry has made technical improvements over the year, but I think Neal outshines him.
Andrews Prediction: Geoff Neal via UD
MAIN CARD (10PM ET/7PM PT)
#4 PETR YAN (13-1-0) VS. #12 URIJAH FABER (35-10-0)
Andrews: This is Yan’s biggest fight and a chance to make a statement. Faber looks good still and normally I have him winning but I think Yan comes through with a big performance.
#1 MARLON MORAES (22-6-1) VS. JOSE ALDO (28-5-0)
Andrews: Moraes has the advantage at bantamweight. Aldo did not look good to me at the weigh-in, I think he has problems gassing and with a motivated Moraes in front of him, will take advantage.
Andrews Prediction: Marlon Moraes via UD
AMANDA NUNES (18-4-0) VS. #1 GERMAINE DE RANDAMIE (9-3-0)
Andrews: Nunes just needs to avoid the early onslaught of kicks that De Randamie will bring. Once the “Iron Lady’s” confidence is broken, Nunes should be able to finish the fight.
Andrews Prediction: Amanda Nunes via TKO
MAX HOLLOWAY (21-4-0) VS. #1 ALEXANDER VOLKANOVSKI (20-1-0)
Andrews: Holloway has to be careful here. Volkanovski has a high energy style and he has to manage his strikes accordingly. I can see Volkanovksi grinding out a decision win here, but I have to respect the toughness and intelligence of Max to figure this one out.
Andrews Prediction: Max Holloway via UD
KAMARU USMAN (15-1-0) VS. #2 COLBY COVINGTON (15-1-0)
Andrews: Fairly even matchup on paper. But I think Usman has the wrestling advantage and Covington has the stamina advantage. If Covington can make Usman think about his striking and wear him out a bit early, he may be able to control the bout later. Usman has to shut down Covington from the start and if he can get the first couple of rounds, he can then control the bout. I will go with the champion.
Andrews Prediction: Kamaru Uman via UD