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UFC 296 Tips – Edwards vs Covington

UFC 296 TIPS

Leon Edwards vs Colby Covington

Career Records:

Edwards – 21-3 (1 NC) (7 wins by KO/TKO)

Covington – 17-3 (4 wins by KO/TKO)

Last Bouts:

Edwards def Usman – Decision (Unanimous) – UFC 286, March 2023

Covington def Masvidal – Decision (Unanimous) – UFC 272, March 2022

Analysis: 

Ranked third in the welterweight rankings, Colby Covington will take on arguably one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the UFC at the moment, Leon Edwards, for the Welterweight Championship, headlining the UFC 296 card.

Covington is 2-2 in his last four fights, but his losses came against Kamaru Usman, the same competitor Edwards dispatched in his last bout. Whilst Convington may have beaten Jorge Masvidal in his previous fight, Masvidal admitted that he didn’t plan for the wrestling aspect of the fight and still went to five rounds.

Known for his wrestling Covington will try and take Edwards down on the mat, while Edwards has the upper advantage on the striking game. After back-to-back wins against Usman, the reigning champion is filled with confidence and will likely retain his belt.

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Alexandre Pantoja vs Brandon Royval

Career Records:

Pantoja – 26-5 (8 wins by KO/TKO)

Royval – 15-6 (5 wins by KO/TKO)

Last Bouts:

Pantoja def Moreno – Decision (Split) – UFC 290, July 2023

Royval def Nicolau – KO – UF C on ESPN: Holloway vs Allen, April 2023

Analysis: 

After going up against each other at UFC on ESPN: Cannonier vs Gastelum in August 2021, Alexandre Pantoja will again take on Brandon Royval. The last time they faced, it took Pantoja only two rounds to earn a decisive victory against Royval via submission (rear-naked choke).

Since that fight, Royval has managed to win three straight and will be looking to get his revenge against his opponent. However, while he is looking for his revenge, it is hard to go past Pantoja as his coming off a good showing against Moreno at UFC 290 and is right in the middle of the prime of his career.

Shavkat Rakhmonov vs Stephen Thompson

Career Records:

Rakhmonov – 17-0 (8 wins by KO/TKO)

Thompson – 17-6 (8 wins by KO/TKO)

Last Bouts:

Rahkmonov def Neal – Submission – UFC 285, March 2023

Thompson de Holland – TKO – UFC on ESPN: Thompson vs Holland, December 2022

Analysis: 

A title contender with an impressive record of 17-0, Shavkat Rakhmonov should make light work in a dominant victory over Stephen Thompson on the UFC 296 card.

Already securing victories against the likes of Neil Magny, Geogg Neal, and Alex Oliveira, Rakhmonov will be looking to take the fight to the ground and use his submission game to perfection. In four of his last five fights, he has won via submission – reak-naked choke or guillotine choke.

Tony Ferguson vs Paddy Pimblet

Career Records:

Ferguson 25-9 (12 wins by KO/TKO)

Covington – 17-3 (4 wins by KO/TKO)

Last Bouts:

Ferguson def by Green – Technical Submission – UFC 291, July 2023

Pimblet def Gordon – Decision (unanimous) – UFC 282, December 2022

Analysis: 

After six consecutive losses and failing to win since UFC 238 in 2019, Tony Ferguson has implemented the services of well-known retired Navy SEAL and ultramarathon runner David Goggins to help him prepare for Paddy Pimblett.

In what could be Ferguson’s final fight in the Octagon, the fight is a last hurrah for The Ultimate Fighter 13 winner and former interim Lightweight Champion. Coming in as the underdog, Ferguson will be hoping to surprise Pimblett with his punches.

However, Pimblett is easily the favourite heading into the clash and will be looking to secure his seventh win in a row, which should earn him a fight with Islam Makhachev for the Lightweight Championship. While his defence to strikes isn’t the best, if he lands a good shot against Ferguson, it should wrap up the fight.

Vincente Luque vs Ian Garry

Career Records:

Luque – 22-9 (11 wins by KO/TKO)

Garry 13-0 (7 wins by KO/TKO)

Last Bouts:

Luque def dos Anjos – Decision (unanimous) – UFC on ESPN: Luque vs do Anjos, August 2023

Garry def Magny – Decision (unanimous) – UFC 292, August 2023

Analysis: 

Getting better with every fight, Ian Garry will be eager to continue his undefeated streak as he takes on veteran 32-year-old Brazilian MMA fighter Vincente Luque – a competitor with over 30 fights to his name.

After a Performance of the Night showing against Daniel Rodriguez, he backed it up in his previous fight against Neil Magny on the UFC 292 card. Entering the prime of his career, it’s hard to go past the Englishman as the victor.

The two have completely different styles, and Garry’s quickness will give him the upper hand. Garry likes to use his striking game of jabs and kicks, whilst Luque competed mostly against the cage in his previous fight with Vincente Luque.

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