Saturday, November 26, 2022

UFC 245 Predictions: Usman vs. Covington

UFC 245 is upon us. The event will be held inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada tomorrow night (Dec. 14). Headlining the card will be a welterweight title clash between champion Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington. The co-main event will see Max Holloway put his featherweight gold on the line against Alex Volkanovski. Also featured on the main card will be a women’s bantamweight title bout between champion Amanda Nunes and Germaine de Randamie.

MMA News continues to keep you posted on the latest UFC 245 updates. Earlier today, we covered the weigh-ins, which you can see the results for here. Myself, Ed Carbajal, and Andrew Ravens have once again linked up to provide main card predictions for UFC 245.

Take a look at the bouts set for the main card:

  • Kamaru Usman (c) vs. Colby Covington – for welterweight title
  • Max Holloway (c) vs. Alex Volkanovski – for featherweight title
  • Amanda Nunes (c) vs. Germaine de Randamie – for women’s bantamweight title
  • Marlon Moraes vs. Jose Aldo
  • Petr Yan vs. Urijah Faber

Kamaru Usman vs. Colby Covington

Fernando Quiles Jr.: This is quite the matchup to end 2019 for the UFC in terms of marquee pay-per-view cards. While some think this has the makings to be a boring fight, I find the similarities in the fighting styles of Usman and Covington to be fascinating. I don’t think either man has a distinct advantage in the grappling and will cancel each other out. Their striking has also improved leaps and bounds over the years. Usman’s got a relentless pace and punching power, while Covington’s accuracy and cardio is tremendous. This is a tough one, but I’m going with the champ thanks to his athleticism. (Prediction: Kamaru Usman)

Ed Carbajal: Usman made his way to becoming champion with an injury that he has now remedied. Either he will be better than he already was, or the time off and inactivity will be a factor when facing Covington. Both of them are strong wrestlers, which might cancel out any grappling leaving them to try and fire away on one another in the striking department. That could be where Usman has the edge since he has more wins by KO/TKO. (Prediction: Kamaru Usman)

Andrew Ravens: I for one cannot wait to see this fight. Both guys have a wrestling background but Usman has shown more in the striking department that I think you can give him the advantage. It really comes down to this if they plan to take the fight to the ground, who can get the top position. I hope to see a wrestling affair but in most cases, it will likely be a stand-up fight. With that said, I think Usman is more well-rounded but Covington will bring one of the biggest challenges that Usman has faced thus far. Usman wins by unanimous decision. (Prediction: Kamaru Usman)

CONSENSUS: 3-0, Kamaru Usman

Max Holloway vs. Alex Volkanovski

Fernando Quiles Jr.: Volkanovski has great confidence going into his title bout with Holloway. He’s got power certainly but I feel like he’ll have difficulty dealing with Holloway’s pace in the striking. I believe the challenger hangs in tough for five rounds, but ultimately Holloway retains. (Prediction: Max Holloway)

Ed Carbajal: Holloway has defended his featherweight title in dominant fashion since he won the interim belt, then unified the title in 2017. While he has been winning, he has not been without showing issues of wear and tear of being a dominant champion. He may have looked good against Edgar, but Volkanovski is a former champion himself in Australia with 11 wins by knockout. He may be the one to break Holloway’s streak at UFC 245. (Prediction: Alex Volkanovski)

Andrew Ravens: Volkanovski went on a seven-fight winning streak under the UFC banner to earn this title fight and has been more impressive in each fight. However, he’s going up against Holloway in his natural weight class and that is a stack of the deck that is just too much for me to go against. I think Holloway shuts him down and puts on a clinic performance to earn the dominant decision win. (Prediction: Max Holloway)

CONSENSUS: 2-1, Max Holloway

Amanda Nunes vs. Germaine de Randamie

Fernando Quiles Jr.: I think people are falling into the classic trap of being mesmerized by a fighter’s aura. Nunes has brutalized the likes of Cris Cyborg, Holly Holm, and Miesha Tate. It’s easy to forget that the “champ-champ” isn’t unbeatable. People are sleeping on de Randamie, who certainly has solid kickboxing credentials and finishing abilities. While de Randamie lost to Nunes back in 2013, I’m going with a massive upset here in what I believe will be the only title change of UFC 245. (Prediction: Germaine de Randamie)

Ed Carbajal: The UFC was not as popular in 2013 as it is now, so fans may not be aware that this is a rematch between de Randamie and Nunes. Nunes finished her in the first round of their fight back then and while both have evolved a lot in the last five years, Nunes is likely still the better fighter. (Prediction: Amanda Nunes)

Andrew Ravens: Although de Randamie will enter this fight on a five-fight winning streak, I have a hard time finding her to be a credible challenge for a title and especially against someone the caliber of Nunes. Amanda is the best female fighter on the planet and is in her prime. I don’t see anyone dethroning her anytime soon. Nunes walks away with a third-round TKO win. (Prediction: Amanda Nunes)

CONSENSUS: 2-1, Amanda Nunes

Marlon Moraes vs. Jose Aldo

Fernando Quiles Jr.: While both Moraes and Aldo are high-level strikers, the story going into this bout is easily Aldo’s weight cut. Admittedly, I’ve been skeptical of Aldo’s move down to the bantamweight division but he did look good at the weigh-ins. With that said, I think Moraes gets the job done as this has been his division for years and I don’t think he’ll blow his gas tank this time. (Prediction: Marlon Moraes)

Ed Carbajal: A lot has been made of Aldo’s move to 135 and going lighter at this stage in career might be rougher on him since he has been vocal about his career coming to an end. Moraes is a young and hungry former WSOF champion who brings a lot of power to the cage accompanied by a decent grappling background. Plus, he has his loss to Henry Cejudo that he wants to make up for. (Prediction: Marlon Moraes)

Andrew Ravens: This should be a nice rebound fight for Moraes should he get the win but it won’t be an easy task despite what Aldo’s recent record looks like. Although Aldo is 2-3 in his last five fights, it’s Jose freaking Aldo. I think Moraes puts on a classic performance to remind everyone that he’s still a real threat and picks up the decision win. (Prediction: Marlon Moraes)

CONSENSUS: 3-0, Marlon Moraes

Petr Yan vs. Urijah Faber

Fernando Quiles Jr.: I’m not on the Yan hype train like many are. I do, however, believe that Yan will defeat Faber. I believe Faber will have difficulty with Yan’s movement and he’ll be outgunned for three rounds. I don’t, however, believe Yan will starch him like many think. (Prediction: Petr Yan)

Ed Carbajal: Yan is on a five-fight win streak and while Faber proved he is not an old dog in the UFC by defeating Ricky Simon last July, he has had bad luck when fighting on pay-per-view events. Of his ten losses, seven are by decision and five of them have been on pay-per-view events. Call it superstition, but Faber might have his hands full with Yan at UFC 245. (Prediction: Petr Yan)

Andrew Ravens: I believe that Faber has met his match. Yes, Faber, is one of the greatest of all-time and has done a ton for the sport. He did look good in his return fight against Ricky Simon, but Yan is on a different pace with an eight-fight winning streak in the UFC and some could say that he’s not even in his prime yet. I think Yan dominates Faber en route to a decision win. (Prediction: Petr Yan)

CONSENSUS: 3-0, Petr Yan

That’ll do it for the UFC 245 predictions. Do you agree with the MMA News staffers? Who do you think will emerge victorious on the main card? Give us your predictions in the comments below and be sure to stick with us for live coverage of UFC 245.