Leon Edwards vs. Colby Covington moves as pick ’em fight ahead of expected UFC title showdown

Leon Edwards closing as betting favorite to beat Colby Covington at UFC 296

With undisputed welterweight champion, Leon Edwards expected to fight former interim gold holder, Colby Covington in a bad-blooded grudge match later this year – despite opening as a betting favorite over the Birmingham native, Covington and Edwards’ projected fight is currently viewed as a pick ‘em bout.

Edwards, the current undisputed welterweight champion, managed to land a trilogy rubber match victory over former pound-for-pound number one, Kamaru Usman at UFC 286 back in March on home soil, defeating the Auchi native in a close, debated majority decision win in London.

As for Covington, the current number two ranked welterweight contender, has yet to return to the Octagon since he headlined UFC 272 back in March of last year, defeating former title challenger, the recently retired, Jorge Masvidal in a one-sided unanimous decision victory.

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And appearing as a backup fighter for the England pay-per-view event back in March, Covington, who initially opened as a betting favorite – quite significantly, has fallen to -110 alongside Leon Edwards – who also sits at -110, with the championship bout viewed at the time of publication as a pick ‘em pairing.

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Initially winning undisputed welterweight gold back in August of last year in Salt Lake City, Utah – Leon Edwards managed to topple Usman from the throne with a thunderous fifth round rallying high kick KO victory over the Nigerian.

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The triumph saw Edwards finally scale the welterweight throne, following a staggering run of wins over the likes of Dominic Waters, Albert Tumenov, Vicente Luque, Bryan Barberena, Peter Sobotta, Donald Cerrone, Gunnar Nelson, Rafael dos Anjos, and Nate Diaz.

As for Covington, the outspoken Clovis native managed to first land interim welterweight gold back in 2018, landing a decision win over common-foe and former undisputed lightweight champion, Rafael dos Anjos.

Later stripped of his interim gold, Covington returned with a decision win over former champion, Robbie Lawler, before unsuccessfully challenging for undisputed spoils against Usman in an eventual fifth round ground strikes TKO loss. 

Earning a rematch with Usman – which he ultimately lost, Covington would land victories over former American Top Team training partners, Tyron Woodley, and the aforenoted, Masvidal en route to his title fight with Team Renegade BJJ & MMA staple, Leon Edwards. 

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Closing as a betting underdog in both his eventual losses to Nigerian veteran, Usman, Covington also closed as a betting underdog against former welterweight and middleweight title chaser, Demian Maia in the co-main event of a UFC Fight Night Sao Paulo back in 2017, landing a decision win over the Brazilian favorite, in a career turning point for him. 

Himself closing as a quite sizeable underdog in his rematch and subsequent rubber match decider with Usman, Leon Edwards proved bettors wrong with his high kick knockout win and decision success, respectively.