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UFC 296 Betting Preview: Leon Edwards vs. Colby Covington

December 16, 2023

UFC 296 boasts an incredible lineup of fights on Saturday, December 16 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas at 10:00 PM ET for the main card. The main event showcases a welterweight title bout between current champ Leon Edwards and third-ranked Colby Covington, with Edwards being a moneyline favorite at -135.

Leon Edwards Betting Preview

Edwards has won his last 11 fights, with a no contest in there too, against some of the best fighters in this division. He is coming off his third battle against Kamaru Usman, which was a majority decision back at UFC 286 in March of this year. 

This marked two consecutive wins against Usman, making him 2-1 in the trilogy.

Looking at his fighting resume, he has obtained 21 wins between seven knockouts, three submissions, and 11 decisions. Despite a large number of wins, he only has five first round finishes. He also has two of his three losses by decision.

“Rocky” has good striking and lands 53 percent of them, while showcasing a slightly below average takedown accuracy at 33 percent. His significant strike ratio is solid, as he lands 2.80 significant strikes a min and takes on 2.40. This does not leave a lot of room for error, which could play a role in this matchup.

Edwards has quality defenses too, with a 54 percent success rate against significant strikes and 69 percent against takedowns. He throws some ground action as well, with 1.26 takedowns and 0.34 submissions per 15 minutes of fight time.

Colby Covington Betting Preview

Covington has gone 2-2 over his last four fights, with both losses being against Usman. His last battle was a unanimous decision win over Jorge Masvidal back at UFC 272 in March of last year.

He has earned 17 wins, with four knockouts, four submissions, and nine decisions. Just three of these wins ended in the opening round of action. In his three losses, he has one each per category.

“Chaos” is not dominant with his strikes with an accuracy at 39 percent. His takedown accuracy is a little more appealing at 46 percent. However, his significant strike ratio is better than Edwards’ with 4.10 significant strikes landed and 3.05 absorbed.

Covington lands an aggressive 4.05 takedowns and 0.18 submissions per 15 minutes of action. In addition, he defends against significant strikes at 52 percent and against takedowns at 72 percent.

Odds, Series Trends and Free Pick

MyBookie has the odds for this upcoming championship fight, with Leon Edwards slightly favored to succeed. Both fighters offer compelling resumes that point to a potential victory.

  • Colby Covington: +105

  • Leon Edwards: -135

Edwards was excellent in his third fight with Usman, where he actually landed more strikes. He still took on four takedowns, but Covington is not the same as Usman.

Spooky Express Pick: Leon Edwards -135