The UFC’s biggest fight card of 2019 takes place this Saturday night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

UFC 245 features three title fights led by the welterweight title bout between champion Kamaru Usman and former interim champion Colby Covington. In the co-main event, UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway defends his belt against Alexander Volkanovski. And in the third title fight of the event, UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes takes on former UFC women’s featherweight champion Germaine de Randamie. Former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo and former WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber will also be on the main card facing separate opponents.

Let’s take a look at the main card and pick our winners:

“Fighting" Kamaru Usman vs Colby Covington

Kamaru Usman won The Ultimate Fighter 21 tournament in 2015 and is the current UFC welterweight champion. Known as the Nigerian Nightmare, the 32-year old Nigerian-American stands six feet tall and has a reach of 76 inches. Usman has an NCAA Division II wrestling background and owns a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Jorge Santiago. Usman has a record of 15-1 with six knockouts and one win by submission. He is 9-0 under the UFC banner and is coming off consecutive wins over Demian Maia, Rafael Dos Anjos, and Tyron Woodley. In his last fight, Usman earned a one-sided unanimous decision win over Woodley to win the UFC welterweight title.

Colby Covington is the #2 ranked UFC welterweight today. He is a former interim UFC welterweight champion and a former NCAA Division I wrestling champion from Oregon State University. Known as Chaos because of the frenetic pace he applies against his opponents, the 31-year old from California joined the UFC in 2014 and has amassed an octagon record of 10-1 with his only loss coming at the hands of Warlley Alves who submitted him via guillotine choke at UFC 194. Covington is undefeated in his last seven fights and he has defeated Dong Hyun Kim, Demian Maia, Rafael Dos Anjos and Robbie Lawler in succession. His last five wins have come via decision. Covington is 15-1 with two knockouts and five wins by submission. He stands 5-11 tall with a reach of 72 inches and fights out of the orthodox stance.

What are the Moneyline Odds?





Odds were taken from as of 12/13/19

Both fighters rely on their wrestling more than anything else and it will be interesting who has the better back-up plan in case their wrestling skills offset each other. Covington isn’t the best technical striker but his pace and pressure make him effective in the stand-up. If this was two years ago, I would have picked Covington here. But Usman looked very comfortable against Tyron Woodley when their fight was in the stand-up. I think he can manage Covington in the striking department. That said, Usman can neutralize every aspect of Covington’s game. There is a chance Covington wins by knockout but I think Usman is stronger and is going to have the advantage in a grinding bout.

Prediction: Kamaru Usman

“Fighting" Max Holloway vs Alexander Volkanovski

Max Holloway is the current UFC featherweight champion and the 7th best pound for pound fighter in the promotion. The 28-year old from Hawaii won the X-1 Lightweight Championship in his third professional bout. After losing to Conor McGregor in 2013, Blessed put together 13 straight victories in the featherweight division, including four title fights. He lost to Dustin Poirier at UFC 236 when he challenged for the interim UFC lightweight title. In his last fight, Holloway scored a unanimous decision win over Frankie Edgar to retain his featherweight belt. Holloway is 21-4 with 10 knockouts and 2 submission wins. He stands 5-11 with a reach of 69 inches and fights as an orthodox fighter.

Alexander Volkanovski is a former Australian Fighting Championship (AFC) featherweight champion and is the #1 ranked featherweight contender in the UFC. This 31-year old from New South Wales joined the UFC in 2016 after winning titles at the PXC promotion and Wollongong Wars. He is 7-0 in the UFC and he has a record of 20-1 with 11 knockouts and 3 wins by submission. The Hulk stands 5-6 tall with a reach of 71 ½ inches. Volkanovski has posted consecutive victories over Darren Elkins, Chad Mendes, and Jose Aldo. His only career loss is a TKO defeat at the hands of Corey Nelson back when he was still fighting in his native Australia.

What are the Moneyline Odds?





Odds were taken from as of 12/13/19

Volkanovski reminds me of Frankie Edgar only that he is younger and more athletic so I would say this fight would resemble Blessed vs The Answer. But while Edgar fought for five rounds and never threatened Holloway, Volkanovski could give Holloway problems because he loves to work the body and has a steady diet of leg kicks. However, I think Holloway is a solid pick here. He is a natural fighter who has incredible durability and can adjust in mid-fight to whatever his opponent brings. I think Holloway is just too experienced here.

Prediction: Max Holloway

“Fighting" Amanda Nunes vs Germaine de Randamie

Amanda Nunes is the reigning UFC women’s bantamweight and featherweight champion and is the first female fighter in the UFC to win two world titles in different weight classes. Nunes did so by knocking out the once-feared Cris Cyborg in just 51 seconds at UFC 232. Nunes has wins over former UFC champions Ronda Rousey, Valentina Shevchenko, Cris Cyborg, and Holly Holm in her last five bouts. The 31-year old known as the Lioness has a record of 18-4 with 13 knockouts and 3 submission wins. She stands 5-8 with a reach of 69 inches and is a southpaw fighter.

Germaine de Randamie is the inaugural UFC featherweight champion and the current #1 ranked bantamweight in the promotion today. The 35-year old Dutch mixed martial artist was a former Strikeforce competitor before joining the UFC. She defeated Holly Holm to win the first-ever UFC women’s featherweight title fight. However, de Randamie was stripped because she refused to fight Cris Cyborg in her first defense.

What are the Moneyline Odds?



De Randamie


Odds were taken from as of 12/13/19

This is the second time these women will fight each other. In the first fight, Nunes won easily although she was still much younger and her fighting style was still wild. Right now, Nunes is probably the best technical female striker in MMA. Randamie has gotten better in the clinch but Nunes has become a more patient predator. I think Nunes will respect de Randamie’s striking and power and she will pick her spots. But when she finds the opening, she’s going to dominate this fight and finish off her latest challenger. No question, Amanda Nunes wins this fight by stoppage. It’s just that this will take a little longer.

Prediction: Amanda Nunes

“Fighting" Jose Aldo vs Marlon Moraes

Jose Aldo is a former longtime UFC featherweight champion. He was the 4th and final WEC featherweight champion who was promoted to being the inaugural UFC featherweight champion when the two promotions merged. Junior is a three-time UFC featherweight king, winning the undisputed title twice and the interim belt once. From 2005 to 2015, he won 18 straight bouts until he was knocked out by Conor McGregor in 13 seconds. The 33-year old Brazilian has a record of 28-5 with 17 knockouts and one win by submission. However, Aldo is 3-4 in his last seven bouts.

Marlon Moraes is the former WSOF bantamweight champion and the #1 ranked UFC bantamweight today. Known as Magic, this 31-year old from Palm Beach Gardens in the United States has a record of 22-6 with 10 knockouts and six wins by submission. Moraes is 5-6 tall with a reach of 67 inches. In his last bout, Magic lost to Henry Cejudo in a fight for the UFC bantamweight title. Before that loss, Moraes put together wins over John Dodson, Aljamain Sterling, Jimmie Rivera, and Raphael Assuncao.

What are the Moneyline Odds?





Odds were taken from as of 12/13/19

Aldo at 135 pounds looks horrible and I’m not sure what his condition will be on fight night. I expect Aldo’s weight cut to take a heavy toll on his strength and durability and I don’t think he is going to be able to match up with Moraes physically. Moraes is also younger and at this stage of their careers, he is faster and quicker. Aldo may hit harder but I don’t think he is going to catch Moraes with something big. You can’t hurt what you can’t hit. I think Moraes picks Aldo apart here and has a good chance of finishing this fight.

Prediction: Marlon Moraes

“Fighting" Urijah Faber vs Petr Yan

Urijah Faber is a former WEC featherweight champion and the 12th ranked UFC bantamweight. A former NCAA wrestler at the University of California at Davis, Faber is the founder of the popular Team Alpha Male squad. He retired in 2016 after defeating Brad Pickett via decision. However, he came back in 2019 and emerged victorious over Ricky Simon last July. Faber has a record of 35-10 with 10 knockouts and 17 wins by submission. He stands 5-6 tall with a reach of 67 inches while fighting as an orthodox fighter.

Petr Yan is a Russian mixed martial artist who was a former bantamweight champion at the Absolute Championship Berkut. He is the #4 ranked bantamweight in the UFC and has a record of 13-1 with five knockouts and one win by submission. He stands 5-7 tall and has a reach of 67 inches while fighting out of Team Tiger Muay Thai. Yan has consecutive wins over Douglas Silva de Andrade, John Dodson, and Jimmie Rivera.

What are the Moneyline Odds?





Odds were taken from as of 12/13/19

If Faber has found his old fire and aggression, there is a chance that he is going to find some success in this fight, especially on the ground. But I don’t think that this fight is going to last long enough for Faber to find his rhythm, if ever. Yan mixed excellent combinations with kicks while avoiding damage on the feet. I think that after the opening exchange, Faber is going to realize that he is in for a long night. Yan is going to show “No Mercy” here.

Prediction: Petr Yan

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