UFC 296 Main Event Preview: Leon Edwards – Colby Covington

Aug 20, 2022; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Kamaru Usman (red gloves) fights Leon Edwards (blue gloves) during UFC 278 at Vivint Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Tomorrow night in the main event of UFC 296, the welterweight title is on the line. Leon Edwards (21-3, 1 NC) will look to successfully defend his title for the second time as he takes on former interim welterweight champion Colby Covington (17-3).

This will be the first fight for Covington since March 2022 when he dominated Jorge Masvidal. Prior to that win, Covington lost a close decision to Kamaru Usman in their second title fight at UFC 268 in November 2021. While it’s been a minute since we’ve seen Covington, he’s still expected to be a big challenge for the champion tomorrow night.

While Covington went 0-2 against Kamaru Usman in title fights, Leon Edwards went 2-0 against Usman. In their first title fight, Edwards was down big on the scorecards and landed a massive head kick in the final minute to win the title. In the rematch, Edwards controlled most of the fight and won a close decision. Now, he’ll face another steep challenge in Covington at UFC 296.

UFC 296 Prediction

MMA math would suggest that Leon Edwards is going to easily win this fight tomorrow night. However, there’s a reason that the betting lines are so close and that’s because this is a very close fight. Colby Covington is a lot different than Kamaru Usman and you’re going to see that tomorrow.

Covington is going to pressure Edwards right away and hit him with a ton of volume. Look for heavy cage pressure and lots of takedown attempts. Edwards is going to need his cardio on point and he’s going to need to be sharp with his takedown defense. I see the UFC 296 main event having a ton of back-and-forth.

One thing Edwards can’t do is fight emotionally. Covington got into his head yesterday at the press conference and Edwards can’t fight out of character. He needs to be composed and be the sniper that he is from the outside. Ultimately, I think he will be and I think he’s going to get it done tomorrow.

Covington is going to have some success, a lot of success in my opinion. However, as we enter the championship rounds, I see something big landing for Edwards that’ll ultimately lead to the UFC welterweight title staying in the UK.

Prediction: Leon Edwards by TKO – Round 4