Leon Edwards takes on Colby Covington for the UFC Welterweight Championship in Las Vegas this Saturday night. This is the final UFC pay-per-view event of the year, and it looks like the organization may have saved the best till last. The bookmakers have it close in the betting, with current champion Edwards (-140) the marginal favorite. In our latest UFC betting picks, we look at the betting and also bring you the odds for the rest of the bouts on the UFC 296 main card.
What: UFC 296
Main Event: Leon Edwards vs. Colby Covington
Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada, US
When: Saturday, December 16th, 2023
Time: 10 pm ET Main Card
This will be Edwards’ second defense of the title he won against Kamaru Usman at UFC 278. Attempting to take the championship title away from the British star is the former interim Welterweight title holder, Colby Covington.
At the time of writing, Edwards is now the -140 betting favorite, with Covington the outsider at +120. A couple of weeks ago, the UFC Vegas betting odds on the fight were Edwards at -125 and Covington at +105. So it appears that the majority of money coming in on the fight is for the current champ to successfully defend his title.
More betting options for Edwards vs Covington are available on our UFC odds table. The odds we have used are from the best UFC betting sites. These betting sites also cover major Mixed Martial Arts events like Bellator, the PFL, and the up-and-coming BKFC.
As we mentioned in our intro, the UFC may have saved the best pay-per-view event of the year to last. This is a great card. As well as having a wide-open main event headlining the show, there is also a spectacular co-main event, with Alexandre Pantoja (-170) taking on Brandon Royval (+140). This is for the Flyweight championship, in what is Pantoja’s first defense of the title he won by beating Brandon Moreno at UFC 290 in July.
Also on the card are two welterweight matchups. The first is between Shavkat Rakhmonov (-600) and Stephen Thompson (+425), with the second a square-off between Vicente Luque (+305) and Ian Machado Garry (-405).
The other bout taking place on the main card is a lightweight scrap between veteran UFC fighter Tony Ferguson (+310) and the up-and-coming Paddy Pimblett (-410).
This is almost like a changing of the guard fight. Ferguson has been there and done it but is on a losing streak of six. Pimblett is the young upstart looking to make a name for himself in the UFC. The experienced Tony Ferguson will want to prove a few people wrong and take Pimblett down. So this is an intriguing fight that Leon Edward’s fellow Brit can’t afford to take lightly.
The Main Event: Leon Edwards vs. Colby Covington
Leon Edwards has a 25-fight MMA record of 21-3-0-1. He won the Welterweight title with a spectacular head kick stoppage of Kamaru Usman at UFC 278 in August of 2022. He then defeated Usman again in a rematch at UFC 286, defeating his opponent by a majority decision in the first defense of his title.
Edwards is in the prime of this career. He has been unbeaten since 2015 in the UFC when he was defeated – somewhat ironically – by Kamaru Usman. Since then, Edwards has gone 12 fights unbeaten, with his winning streak only interrupted by a no-contest against Belal Muhammad in March 2021.
The breakdown of Edwards’ MMA career shows his 21 wins have come by 11 decisions, seven knockouts, and three submissions. Two of his three career defeats were by decision, with the third coming by a disqualification.
Colby Covington has a 17-3 record in Mixed Martial Arts. He has fought and lost twice for the undisputed Welterweight Championship, losing both times to – the well-mentioned in this article – Kamaru Usman. In his most recent fight, he defeated Jorge Masvidal at UFC 272, by unanimous decision. This was his first fight back after his second loss to Usman.
Over his career, nine of his 17 wins have come by decision, with four by knockout and four by submission. His three defeats are evenly split, with one by decision, one by KO, and one by submission.
Leon Edwards vs. Colby Covington: Our Picks
The first thing to note when we look at both fighters’ history is that they both go the distance fairly often.
In the case of Edwards, he is a good all-round fighter who can impress the judges with his work on the mat and his clean striking power. As for Covington, he is a non-stop fighter who keeps the pressure on relentlessly, never letting his opponent have a breather for a microsecond.
The smart money has to be on the fight going the distance. Covington can wear down most opponents. But as he found out against (we’re mentioning him again) Kamaru Usman on two occasions, that’s not enough to defeat the toughest elite fighters.
And that’s the category of fighter that Leon Edwards is currently in. So we are making Leon Edwards our pick to beat Colby Covington.
Dean has a strong affinity for the English Premier League and cricket, but his extensive understanding of sports allows him to discuss a wide range of athletic topics. Previously, Dean has explored the world to attend events such as the FIFA World Cup and Ashes cricket matches, but currently, he prefers to enjoy sports from the coziness of his home.