Leon Edwards vs Colby Covington 12-12-23

Leon Edwards vs. Colby Covington 12/16/23 UFC 296 Latest Preview, Analysis, and Picks

Leon Edwards vs. Colby Covington 12/16/23 – The long-awaited grudge match between Leon Edwards and Colby Covington headlines UFC 296 on December 16th, 2023. This welterweight title fight, taking place at T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, pits the slick striking of champion Leon “Rocky” Edwards against the relentless wrestling and pressure of challenger Colby “Chaos” Covington. We will provide the best premium picks, dissecting each fighter’s strengths, weaknesses, and historical performances to predict the outcome of this thrilling encounter.


Leon Edwards vs. Colby Covington 12/16/23 Game Info


When: Saturday, December 16, 2023 at 10:00 PM ET
Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA


Leon “Rocky” Edwards Analysis


Leon Edwards enters with an impressive 21-3 record, having not lost a fight since 2015. With slick boxing and underrated grappling, Edwards has rounded into one of the most technical and well-balanced fighters in the division. His striking lands at a 53% clip, blending punishing kicks with crisp punches, both at distance and in the clinch. Once establishing his striking, Edwards integrates takedowns well, averaging 1.26 per 15 minutes with a solid 33% accuracy. His ground game may be his most overlooked asset, as he seamlessly blends position, submission attempts and ground and pound.


Edwards’ most recent win came in one of the greatest championship fight comebacks ever, knocking out the dominant Usman in the final minute of their bout, stunning the MMA world. Edwards will look to utilize his rangy striking and versatile blend of attacks to neutralize Covington’s pressure wrestling game. He has also shown great poise and resilience, able to come back from adversity. With technical skills and heart, Edwards has proven himself to be a worthy welterweight champion.


Colby “Chaos” Covington Analysis


Colby Covington steps in at 17-3, having established himself as one of the top contenders at welterweight over the past 5 years. A former interim champion, Covington utilizes relentless pressure and wrestling to break opponents both mentally and physically. He lands strikes at an above-average clip, blending 4.1 significant strikes landed per minute with a high output grinding style. Once establishing his striking, Covington implements feared chain wrestling, averaging a division-best 4.05 takedowns per 15 minutes at a 45% accuracy.


Showcasing world-class cardio, Covington turns on the pressure from start to finish, implementing a non-stop wrestling attack to slowly overwhelm opponents. His most recent win came via unanimous decision over long-time rival Masvidal. Covington will look to exploit Edwards’ ground game, implementing suffocating control time and damaging ground strikes. He also holds underrated submission defense, which will be key against Edwards’ sneaky submission game. If Covington can slow Edwards’ striking rhythm, land takedowns and establish top control, he has a path to regain the coveted welterweight belt.


Leon Edwards vs. Colby Covington Betting Stats


Edwards Covington
Wins/Losses/Draws 21-3-0 (1 NC) 17-3-0
Average Fight Time 16:24 16:34
Height 6′ 2″ 5′ 11″
Weight 170 lbs. 170 lbs.
Reach 74″ 72″
Stance Southpaw Orthodox
Strikes Landed per Min. 2.80 4.10
Striking Accuracy 53% 39%
Strikes Absorbed per Min. 2.40 3.05
Defense 53% 55%
Takedowns Average/15 min. 1.26 4.05
Takedown Accuracy 33% 45%
Takedown Defense 69% 72%
Submission Average/15 min. 0.3 0.2


Leon Edwards vs. Colby Covington Betting Pick


Predicting the outcome of this bout is challenging, considering the caliber of both fighters. Edwards’ striking precision and reach advantage could be pivotal in keeping Covington at bay. Meanwhile, Covington’s pressure and grappling expertise might wear down Edwards over time. However, considering recent performances and overall skill sets, our pick leans towards Leon Edwards. His improved grappling defense and striking accuracy, coupled with his performance against Usman, suggest he may have the edge in this matchup. Edwards is likely to utilize his reach advantage and striking skills to maintain distance and potentially outscore Covington in a decision.


Free Pick: Leon “Rocky” Edwards -140


In conclusion, this UFC welterweight title bout promises to be a classic encounter between two of the best fighters in the division. While Covington’s relentless pressure and ground control are formidable, Edwards’ striking precision and improved grappling make him a slightly more favorable pick. As always, in the world of MMA, surprises are the norm, and anything can happen inside the octagon. Yet, for those seeking UFC free insights, the analysis leans towards Edwards retaining his title in what is expected to be a closely contested battle.


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