The UFC returns to action at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, on Saturday night. The main event features a clash at welterweight against former teammates turned foes, Colby Covington & Robbie Lawler. In the co-main event, we have a legends matchup in the lightweight division, as Jim Miller takes on Clay Guida.
Main Event Breakdown
Odds: Covington (-220), Lawler (+180)
This fight is one of the most important in the UFC’s welterweight division, as the winner may well be on his way to earning a title shot. Covington, often considered the UFC’s public enemy No. 1 these days, is coming off a strong performance over Rafael Dos Anjos, where he dominated the fight to earn a decision victory.
On the other hand, Lawler is coming off a rather odd loss to Ben Askren, where he was finished via bulldog choke in the first round, but nearly everyone agrees it was stopped prematurely.
This fight is extremely close, in my opinion. Love him or hate him, Covington brings the great ability to pressure absolutely anyone at 170 with his ferocious pace and the volume he throws. He also has great wrestling as well, which has seemed to be one of Lawler’s weak points of late.
For Lawler, the guy is an absolute killer, and before the fight was stopped against Askren, he ran through him like a freight train, and you can argue that it should have stopped, as Askren seemed out of it at some points during the barrage.
The two are nightmare matchups, in my opinion. On one hand, I can see Lawler absolutely running through Covington and TKO’ing him within two rounds, while on the other hand, I can see Covington breaking down Lawler with his amazing pace and earning a hard-fought decision, or even grabbing a submission late in the fight.
Prediction: I’m really torn on this fight, but even as impressive as Covington has looked of late, I think we finally see a good turn of tides for Lawler this time around. Expect fireworks and for Lawler to drop bombs on his former teammate, wrapping this fight up near the end of the first round with a TKO that will send shockwaves throughout the rest of the division.
Co-Main Event Breakdown
Odds: Jim Miller (-155), Clay Guida (+125)
The co-main event features a pair of legends in Jim Miller and Clay Guida, who are as tough as they come these days. Both men are extremely skilled but are certainly in the twilights of their careers. Miller is coming off a beautiful first-round submission over Jason Gonzalez, while Guida is coming off a decision win over BJ Penn.
As with the last fight, I’m a bit torn here as this fight is certainly going to be a scrap, and both men are tremendous at doing so. I find it quite impressive that these two vets are still hanging in there with tough competition still, which should be a massive victory in itself.
However, at this point in time, I just feel as though Miller is the more complete fighter. I think he has a better submission game than Guida and is certainly skilled enough on the feet to keep Guida’s pressure at bay.
Prediction: Overall, I think Miller is just more game at this point. He offers a great standup and has the ability to finish the fight on the feet. I think it will be a scrap until the final bell, but I see Miller walking away the winner via unanimous decision (29-28×3).