The UFC 245 main event realises a fight which has been in the works for years. At 170lbs, two bitter rivals will clash to see who is the best man in the division. Champion Kamaru Usman will clash with the former interim champion, Colby Covington. These two high-level wrestlers look to extend their impressive winning streaks with a victory in Las Vegas. We delve into the stats behind both men to see if they give any indication as to how the fight may play out. All stats are accurate per UFC Stats.
Even Momentum entering UFC 245
Both men also have almost identical records, each sitting 15-1. The main eventers have also each gone to decision eight times, with Usman picking up six knockouts and one submission and Covington picking up two knockouts and five submissions. These statistics alone highlight how evenly matched these two fighters are.
Usman is riding an impressive winning streak. He is unbeaten in his last 14 bouts and has gone the 15-minute distance five times and the 25-minute distance three times within this streak. Some notable names within this run include up and coming star, Leon Edwards, former two-time title challenger Damian Maia, former lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos and of course former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley.
Covington is also carrying a lot of momentum going into UFC 245. Unbeaten in his last seven, Covington has gone the distance in his previous five, of which two were contested over 25 minutes. ‘Chaos’ has also picked up wins over Dos Anjos and Maia, but has also defeated former titleholder, Robbie Lawler, in dominant fashion.
Battle of the wrestlers
The main event of UFC 245 sees two very decorated wrestlers clash. Covington competed at NCAA Division one level and Usman at NCAA Division two.
During his UFC career, Covington averages 5.69 takedowns per 15 minutes, with an accuracy of 51%. Important to note is that his takedown defence is an impressive 78%. Usman averages 3.96 takedowns per 15 minutes, with an accuracy of 50%. The most important stat regarding takedowns, however, is that Usman has 100% takedown defence. The fact that Usman has never been taken down is a huge factor in this match-up.
Against Dos Anjos, Covington landed eight takedowns and was taken down twice. When Usman faced the Brazillian, he dominated the takedown statistics 12 to zero. This would suggest that Usman implements a much heavier takedown game.
Neither man attempt too many submissions, with both only attempting 0.2 submissions over 15 minutes. This means we can expect heavy ground and pound, rather than either man chasing a submission.
The Champion, Usman has recorded six knockouts during his 15 wins, of which just one has been in the UFC. In each of his 10 UFC fights, Usman has out-struck his opponent. Most impressively against Woodley, out landing him 336 total strikes to Woodley’s 60. He worked the body well in this fight, landing 83 significant strikes against T-Wood’s body.
Arguably the most important striking statistic is regarding strikes in the clinch. With both men being such strong wrestlers, we could very well see a number of clinch situations. Taking Dos Anjos as a common opponent of both men over five rounds, Usman landed 33 strikes from the clinch. This is significantly more than Covington, who landed just eight against the Brazillian.
Covington has recorded two knockouts in his career, both coming in the UFC. Chaos’ most impressive striking performance was arguably against Robbie Lawler. He was dominant with striking, landing 201 strikes, of which 179 were significant. He attempted an insane 541 total stikes, averaging over 100 per round. His output is arguably as a result of not putting 100% effort into every punch. He peppers opponents with a constant barrage of punches and pounces on them when they’re hurt. This is similar to how Nick Diaz used to fight.
The Most Important Stat going into UFC 245…
As we know, fights aren’t fought on paper. We can analyse stats as much as we want but in such a close encounter, anything could happen. Who knows, these two men could have a one-round slugfest or a five-round chess match. The most important stat of all, however:
There can only be 1 welterweight king.
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