- Reed Kuhn is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, and strategy and analytics consultant. He is the author of “Fightnomics: The Hidden Numbers and Science in Mixed Martial Arts,” the first book to quantify drivers and performance metrics in combat sports.
It’s an overdue matchup between the last two men to hold the welterweight belt before the Kamaru Usman era began. Colby Covington took the title during Tyron Woodley’s absence due to injury, but a matchup between them was overtaken by events when Usman rose to the top and stayed there. Finally happening, the Woodley-Covington pairing brings elite talent and is made more interesting by some personal heat.
There’s familiarity between them, as they overlapped each other in training at American Top Team. That familiarity apparently bred some antagonism rather than friendship. There are strong personal differences, plus the need of each man to rebound from lopsided losses. Add a stark stylistic contrast, and the fight will have an edge of excitement like what we normally expect from title fight in front of a packed stadium. Let’s hope the cage has strong microphones to catch any trash talk.
Prelims begin at 5 p.m. ET Saturday on ESPN+, and the main card starts at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN+.
Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill.
Welterweight main event: No. 2 Colby Covington (-360) vs. No. 5 Tyron Woodley (+290)
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