This Saturday, September 19th, the UFC remains in Vegas for one of the most highly anticipated cards of the year in UFC Fight Night: Covington vs. Woodley. Last week’s UFC event went off without a single positive Covid-19 test, and by the grace of the MMA gods, this main card will go ahead as planned, too. There are currently 14 combined preliminary and main card fights scheduled, culminating with the long-overdue main event-matchup between Colby Covington and Tyron Woodley. Follow along as we give the betting odds for and break down each of the main card matchups of UFC Fight Night: Covington vs. Woodley, and give our picks and predictions for how we see each of those fights going down!
Kevin Holland (18-5) vs. Darren Stewart (12-5-0, 1NC)
Bovada Odds as of 9/14/20: Holland (-240), Stewart (+190)
First up on the main card is Kevin Holland vs. Darren Stewart. Kevin Holland is making is 8th UFC appearance by way of the Contender Series. He’s 5-2 in the UFC, and his only 2 losses were his UFC debut (a decision loss to Thiago Santos) and more recently a RNC to Brendan Allen back in October of last year. Darren Stewart will be making his walk to the Octagon for the 12th time. Stewart’s tenure with the UFC has been a bit more tenuous. After his debut win being overturned to a no contest, Stewart has gone just 5-5 with the organization.
Our pick: Holland, 2nd-round KO/TKO
Mackenzie Dern (8-1) vs. Randa Markos (10-9-1)
Bovada Odds as of 9/14/20: Dern (-175), Markos (+145)
Up next is Mackenzie Dern taking on Randa Markos. Dern will be making her 5th UFC appearance by way of LFA and Invicta FC, and she looked phenomenal in her last fight against Hannah Cifers, locking up the kneebar about midway through the first round. Dern is 3-1 with the UFC, and her only loss comes at the hands of UFC rising star Amanda Ribas on October 12th of last year. Markos will be making her 14th walk to the Octagon by way of TUF series, and she is 6-6-1 with the UFC. Markos is coming off of a loss to Amanda Ribas in March of this year, and interestingly enough, Markos has never lost 2 in-a-row with the UFC (she’s never won 2 in-a-row either).
Our pick: Dern, 1st-round submission
Johnny Walker (17-5) vs. Ryan Spann (18-5)
Bovada Odds as of 9/14/20: Walker (-135), Spann (+105)
Third on the main card is Johnny Walker vs. Ryan Spann. Walker is making his 6th walk to the Octagon by way of the Contender Series Brazil. After a sensational start and talks of UFC Light Heavyweight title contention, Walker has fallen short in his last 2 (a 1st-round KO loss to Corey Anderson at UFC 244, and a disappointing decision-losing performance to Nikita Krylov on March 14th of this year). Ryan Spann is making his 5th UFC appearance by way of the Contender Series. Spann is coming off of a split-decision victory over Sam Alvey back in May, and he is riding an 8-fight win streak dating back to 2017. That being said, Johnny Walker is due for a big showing, and I think he gets it turned around here!
Our pick: Walker, 1st-round KO/TKO
Khamzat Chimaev (8-0) vs. Gerald Meerschaert (31-13)
Bovada Odds as of 9/14/20: Chimaev (-450), Meerschaert (+325)
In what might prove to be the Fight of the Night, UFC up-and-coming sensation Khamzat Chimaev takes on Gerlad Meerschaert. Meerschaert is making his 12th walk to the Octagon, and overall he is 6-5 with the UFC. After a 4-1 start in the UFC (his only loss to Thiago Santos), Meerschaert has begun to slide, having gone 2-4 in his last 6 since December of 2018. Chimaev enters this fight as the second-largest favorite on the entire card (Mirsad Bektić is -500 over Eduardo Garagorri +350). Chimaev is making his 3rd UFC appearance, and he is on the short list of UFC fighters to ever have 2 fights booked simultaneously (Chimaev is also scheduled to fight Demian Maia in mid-November). Chimaev made his UFC debut at Middleweight against John Phillips on July 15th, and then made his follow up appearance at Welterweight only 10 days later against Rhys McKee. Chimaev is 8-0 with 8 finishes, and from what we’ve seen of him thus far, he looks like an absolute nightmare for almost anyone in either the Welterweight or Middleweight divisions.
Our pick: Chimaev, 1st-round KO/TKO
Donald Cerrone (36-15-0, 1NC) vs. Niko Price (14-4-0, 1NC)
Bovada Odds as of 9/14/20: Cerrone (+130), Price (-160)
In the co-main event, UFC / WEC legend Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone takes on Niko Price. After what seemed like a sudden resurgence to Cerrone’s stout career, with wins over Mike Perry, Alexander Hernandez and Al Iaquinta, Cerrone has lost 4 in a row for the first time. Those losses, however, did come at the hands of perennial contenders Tony Ferguson, Justin Gaethje and Conor McGregor, and most recently a decision loss to Anthony Pettis at UFC 249 back in May. Cerrone will be fighting for the 53rd time this Saturday, and all but 7 of those matches were in the UFC or WEC. Niko Price is making his 12th walk to the Octagon, and he is 6-4 in the UFC, with 1 no contest for testing positive for smoking the Devil’s lettuce. Price has lost 3 out of his last 5, and it just seems like it’s been a difficult ride for him to stack multiple wins together (2 fights is his best UFC win streak).
Our pick: Cerrone, decision
Colby Covington (15-2) vs. Tyron Woodley (19-5-1)
Bovada Odds as of 9/14/20: Covington (-340), Woodley (+260)
In the main event, we have the long-awaited and highly-anticipated matchup between Colby Covington and Tyron Woodley. Woodley was the UFC Welterweight champion for 2 1/2 years before finally losing to Kamaru Usman at UFC 235 in March of last year. Woodley then lost his return fight to Gilbert Burns this May, making it the first time in his career that he’s ever loss back-to-back fights. And, looking to turn it around, Woodley has his work cut out for him against Colby Covington. Covington is the 3rd heaviest betting favorite on the entire card at -340. He is coming off of a title loss to Kamaru Usman at UFC 245, and he’s looking to avoid his first 2-fight losing skid. Before his loss to Usman, however, Covington was on a stellar 7-fight win streak. Like Woodley, Covington is one of the top wrestlers in the division, but it is his cardio that sets him apart. I expect a similar performance from Covington like the one we saw against Robbie Lawler, and that he should get the decision nod Saturday night.
Our pick: Covington, decision
In episode 5 of the Fight Sport Focus podcast, hosts Jeffery Hoffmann and Nicholas Sherlock will be joined by Brandon Hebert to discuss UFC Fight Night: Covington vs. Woodley. Tune in soon and give it a listen!
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- Fight Sport Focus Podcast Episode 6 – “Kid Diamond” Jewel Scott joins the show before fight at iKON1, UFC Fight Night: Covington vs. Woodley Recap, UFC 253 Adesanya vs. Costa Picks and Predictions
- Fight Sport Focus Podcast Episode 5 – “Thug Passion” Brandon Hebert joins the show, Atlas Fights 56 Recap, UFC Fight Night: Waterson vs. Hill Recap, Covington vs. Woodley Picks and Predictions
- Fight Sport Focus Podcast Episode 4 – Nunzio “The Nunzilla” Camarata joins the show, Atlas Fights 56 Preview, UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Sakai Recap, Waterson vs. Hill Preview, Picks and Predictions
- Fight Sport Focus Podcast Episode 3 – Joe “The Party” Penafiel joins the show, UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Rakic Recap, Overeem vs. Sakai Preview, Picks and Predictions
- Fight Sport Focus Podcast Episode 2 – Atlas Fights 55 Recap, UFC Fight Night: Frankie Edgar vs. Pedro Munhoz Recap, Smith vs. Rakic Preview, Picks and Predictions
Tell us what you think! Where do we have it right, and where do you think we got it wrong? Comment with your picks, and don’t forget to bookmark our page and check back often for more predictions and fight coverage. If you like what you see, go ahead and give our Facebook page a like and follow us on Twitter & Instagram @fightsportfocus. Also, subscribe to the Fight Sport Focus podcast on Anchor.fm, Spotify, iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts!