Colby Covington has been doing what he does second best in his life, talking a bunch of trash about how he is going to destroy Leon Edwards at UFC 296. Edwards is a much more soft-spoken person and hasn't really done the same. Instead, he is taking a more statistical approach to how the odds should be in his favor when the two meet up in the octagon on December 16th.
Edwards was an unexpected but certainly deserving champion. When he defeated Usman I don't think anyone, least of all the bookies who had Edwards as a major underdog could have seen that head kick coming in the 5th. Even after the strap was put around his waist and he was declared champion, months later at the rematch Edwards, then still the champion was still the underdog going into the fight. He is undefeated in 12 fights against very strong opponents including Nate Diaz and Belal Muhammad. Edwards also, just like everyone else it seems, has a win over Cowboy Cerrone dating back to 2018.
In a recent presser Leon Edwards pointed out that all of Covington's trash talk is not phasing him and he believes everyone should look at the fact that Covington hasn't fought in 2 years and all of his past 3 wins have been against people that no longer fight with the UFC anymore. Covington's last 3 wins were against Jorge Masvidal, Tyron Woodley and Robbie Lawler and while they were impressive wins, Edwards isn't wrong that they aren't exactly the same caliber of opponents that he has faced in recent years.
The fact that Covington has lost to Usman twice and this is the guy that Edwards took the belt from and then defended it against him later, speaks volumes as well. Leon also pointed out that all of Covington's recent wins were against guys that were 35 years old or older. I suppose that could be a very worthwhile fact, especially in the case of legend Robbie Lawler.
Since the last time I spoke about these two the Vegas lines have remained largely the same with Edwards the favorite at a now -140 and Covington coming in at the underdog with a +120.
Despite these words from Edwards, which make a lot of sense and the fact that Vegas is betting against him, I feel as though Covington knows that his back is against the wall and if he doesn't go for the kill in this fight and win, that his days of competing for the top honor in the Welterweight division are most likely over. It is because of this fear that I believe Colby will be motivated to train and perform better than he ever has in his life. He better not leave it in the hands of the judges though and based on Colby's past performances of mostly decision victories, he is going to have to do some heavy hitting to get the job done.
My money is still on Colby for the win.