The primary battle between Usman and Covington was top-of-the-line fights of the yr in 2019. They got here out weapons blazing, and traded punches on a regular basis till Usman ultimately knocked Covington out within the final minute of the final spherical. Nevertheless, we haven’t seen a lot of what they normally do in that battle.
Each Kamaru and Colby have an intensive wrestling background which they have an inclination to make the most of contained in the octagon. Nevertheless, neither of them normally submit opponents, and neither of them even tried a takedown of their first matchup.
Grapplers don’t like going at one another on the bottom, as they understand how one tiny mistake can price you the battle towards an elite grappler/wrestler.
As an alternative, they stood on their ft and confirmed us their placing talents. It’s not loopy to count on the identical factor will occur of their subsequent battle, so it’s solely a matter of who’s the higher striker as of proper now.
Usman is aware of easy methods to management the opponent and the battle’s tempo, and he dramatically improved his placing over the previous few fights (3 out of 4 victories by way of (T)KO). He has the power to knock you out chilly, and though he’s not precisely a refined striker, he’s quickly getting there and enhancing battle after battle.
However, you’ll be able to’t ignore Covington’s placing talents, too. He held the record for many strikes tried in a UFC bout for some time after he had thrown a staggering 541 strikes at Robbie Lawler (Max Holloway shattered the document not too long ago with 746). Nevertheless, he solely landed 201 strikes, so he missed greater than he hit.
Usman is a barely higher wrestler/grappler and a barely higher striker, proven together with his knockouts over notable opponents. Additionally, he landed 263 strikes within the first battle towards Jorge Masvidal and 336 towards Tyron Woodley (third greatest all-time) – greater than Colby ever landed.
Energy Vs. Tempo?
So, why was the primary battle so shut if Usman is each a greater striker and a greater grappler? For starters, Colby strikes and strikes at an unmatched tempo. Usman is understood to have killer cardio, however Covington is simply on one other degree. I’m unsure we’ve ever seen a man push the tempo that a lot in any division.
He can go after you the whole 5 rounds and never even breathe heavy. Don’t get me fallacious, Usman is a beast on the subject of cardio, too, however he appeared a bit gassed after the primary spherical of the second Masvidal battle (a minimum of if you believe Covington).
Usman is the man with extra energy. He’s larger, extra muscular, and he has that one-punch knockout energy that I doubt Colby has – a minimum of we’ve by no means seen something like that from him. Nevertheless, if he can’t include and management Colby’s tempo, that’s the place the challenger ought to search a bonus.
One other factor that we have to keep watch over is the load discrepancy between these two guys. Wrestlers know easy methods to minimize weight, so neither of them ever did not make the minimize. Nevertheless, Usman’s minimize is greater. Quite a bit larger.
He is a large man for the welterweight division and said he walks round 190 lbs, typically a bit extra, which implies he has to chop 20+ lbs to make the 170 lbs restrict. That’s a ton of weight to chop, and that may result in efficiency points, corresponding to fatigue, lack of power and power, and so forth.
However, Covington is sort of near his pure weight when getting into the octagon. He fights at 170, however he walks round at round 180 lbs, which implies he doesn’t even should dehydrate to chop weight. Nevertheless, it does imply he’s fairly small for a welterweight fighter.
Their weight is usually a double-edged sword for each guys, but when Usman makes weight with none bother, I believe he’s but once more better off.
Who Wins the Rematch?
For those who think about every thing, Kamaru is the clear favourite to defend his belt towards Colby Covington as soon as once more. Nevertheless, there are a number of spots he can slip on.
Usman must be cautious about his weight minimize. If he does it proper, he’ll have an enormous dimension and energy benefit. If he doesn’t undergo the load minimize simply, it might injury his cardio, which is unforgivable towards a cardio beast like Covington.
Additionally, Kamaru has to regulate the tempo and never let Colby set the tempo. The primary battle was too shut for consolation, so he’ll positively search for some changes within the rematch, however when it’s all mentioned and performed, I imagine he’ll defeat the challenger as soon as once more and proceed pushing for the title of the very best welterweight (and pound-for-pound) fighter in UFC historical past.
(Photograph by Steve Marcus/Getty Pictures)
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Government Author, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a ardour for Fight Sports activities and likewise a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s additionally a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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