UFC on ESPN 5: Covington vs Lawler - Odds and Predictions

Written by: Ryan Bristlon
Updated October 14, 2022
11 min read

How to Watch

Where: Prudential Center – Newark, New Jersey

When: Saturday, August 3, 1PM EST

How (TV): ESPN, ESPN+, Fight Pass, TSN

Colby Covington (14-1) vs Robbie Lawler (28-13-1) – Welterweight division

It’s been over a year since “the people’s champ” Colby Covington has stepped into the octagon. After beating Rafael dos Anjos for the interim welterweight title, Covington opted for a nasal surgery and was later accused by fellow fighters of avoiding fights. Since recovering from his surgery, Covington has been very public and vocal, campaigning that he is the only one deserving of the next welterweight title shot. However, during Covington’s absence, Kamaru Usman stepped in as the next challenger, won the belt, and then took time off for surgery himself. A fight between Covington and Lawler was finally agreed too and most have been surprised that Covington not only accepted the fight, but has been rather complimentary of his opponent during the build up.

As mentioned earlier, Colby Covington, 31, last fought against Rafael dos Anjos for the interim welterweight title at UFC 225 on June 9, 2018. Covington dominated dos Anjos for five rounds and won the unanimous decision victory. The win over dos Anjos was Covington’s sixth in a row. He is 10-1 under the UFC banner and is ranked at number two in the welterweight division. It seems to be a no-brainer that should Covington get passed Lawler, he would undoubtedly be next in line for a shot at Usman’s welterweight title.

Covington stands at 5 feet, 11 inches tall and has a reach of 72 inches. He trains out of Florida where he trains with UFC fighters such as interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier and Jorge Masvidal and the American Top Team gym. He also possesses NCAA division one wrestling credentials. He has been active in mixed martial arts since 2012.

Robbie Lawler, 37, isn’t on quite the roll that Covington has been. After winning five fights in a row, including winning the welterweight title and defending it twice, Lawler has gone just 1-3 in his last four contests – including losing the title to former champ Tyron Woodley. Lawler’s last win came on July 29, 2017 over Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. Most recently, Lawler is coming off of a controversial loss at UFC 235 that was held on March 2 of this year. Lawler lost to a debuting Ben Askren and the referee called a stop after believing Lawler had passed out due to an Askren submission. Lawler still insists he was not unconscious.

”Ruthless” stands also stands at 5 feet, 11 inches and has a two inch reach advantage over his opponent. A former member of Covington’s American Top Team gym, Lawler has recently been training out of the Hard Knocks 365 gym. He is a southpaw with a kickboxing and wrestling style. He is currently ranked at number 11 in the welterweight division.

Bet on UFC on ESPN 5, if you are in New Jersey:

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Jim Miller (30-13-1) vs Clay Guida (35-18) – Lightweight division

After being cancelled on June 1 due to injury, Volkan Oezdimir and Ilir Latifi were rescheduled to this event. Unfortunately, due to visa issues, the bout was once again cancelled. But it didn’t take long for the UFC to find a replacement fight as UFC veteran Jim Miller and Clay Guida stepped up to the challenge in what should be a fast paced, frenetic co-main event.

Jim Miller, 35, currently holds the UFC record for most wins in the lightweight division. However, Miller is still trying to recover from a four-fight losing streak that lasted from early 2017 to mid 2018. Since then he has gone 2-1 in his last three. His last fight came on April 27 of this year. He was pitted against Jason Gonzalez and won the fight via first-round rear-naked choke. He was awarded a performance of the night bonus for his effort.

”A10” stands at 5 feet, 8 inches tall and has a reach of 71 inches. Miller will be a hometown favorite at this event as he fights out of Sparta Township, New Jersey. He trains with coach Brian McLaughlin at Miller Brothers MMA gym. He was an NCAA division one wrestler and has a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Jamie Cruz. He has been active in mixed martial arts since 2005.

Clay Guida, 37, has had quite the mixed record in the UFC since 2011. Since then, he has gone 7-7 in the UFC which includes a stint in the featherweight division. Guida returned to the lightweight division in 2017 and has gone 3-1 since then. His last fight was at UFC 237 on May 11 where he faced B.J. Penn. Guida won the three-round fight via unanimous decision.

”The Carpenter” stands on inch shorter than his opponent at 5 feet, 7 inches tall. His reach is also one inch shorter than Miller’s. Guida fights out of Johnsburg, Illinois and trains with Team Alpha Male. He has been active in MMA since 2003 and is the former, and inaugural, Strikeforce lightweight champion.

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Joaquim Silva (11-1) vs Nasrat Haqparast (10-2) – Lightweight division

Joaquim Silva, 30, has found a lot of success in the UFC. Having his first UFC fight in 2015, Silva has gone 4-1 under the banner, the one loss being the only loss of his career that came against Vinc Pichel In early 2018. Silva last fought on December 15, 2018 against Jared Gordon. Silva won the fight in the third round by knockout and the bout was named fight of the night.

”Netto” stands at 5 feet, 8 inches tall and has a reach of 69 inches. The orthodox fighter trains out of Curitiba, Brazil with Evolucao Thai. He has been active in mixed martial arts since 2010 and has a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and black kruang in muay thai.

Nasrat Haqparast, 23, has won two fights in a row since losing his UFC debut in 2017. He bounced back from the loss by defeated Mark Diakese via unanimous decision in July of 2018. His last fight was on October 27, 2018. He fought Thibault Gouti and also defeated him by unanimous decision. Like his opponent Silva, Haqparast was also awarded fight of the night honours for his last fight.

Standing at 5 feet, 10 inches tall, the German fighter will have a two inch height advantage. Haqparast will also have a three inch reach advantage over Silva in this fight. Haqparast fights out of Hamburg, Germany but trains at Tristar Gym in Quebec, Canada – the gym well known as the training grounds for former UFC champion Georges St. Pierre.

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Trevin Giles (11-1) vs Gerald Meerschaert (28-11) – Middleweight division

After winning 11 fights in a row, including his first two fight for the UFC, Trevin Giles, 26, suffered his first career loss in his last fight. Giles fought Zak Cummings on May 18 of this year and was defeated by a third-round guillotine submission.

”The Problem” stands at an even 6 feet tall and has a 74 inch reach. He will have a one inch height and a 3.5 inch reach disadvantage in this bout. Giles fights out of Houston, Texas with Elite MMA.

Gerald Meerschaert, 31, has gone 2-2 in his last four UFC appearances and is riding a two-fight losing streak. After winning two in a row, Meerschaert was stopped by middleweight contender Jack Hermansson via first round submission. He followed up by dropping his last fight as well. On March 30 of this year, Meerschaert lost a split-decision to Kevin Holland.

”The Machine” stands at 6 feet, 1 inch tall and has a reach of 77.5 inches. Fighting out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Meerschaert trains under head coach Duke Roufus at Roufusport Gym with the likes of former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley. Meerschaert has black belts in both Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Roufus kickboxing. He is a former RFA middleweight champion.

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Scott Holtzman (12-3) vs Dong Hyun Ma (16-9-3) – Lightweight division

Scott Holtzman, 35, last fought on February 17 of this year. Holtzman fought Nik Lentz and lost the bout via unanimous decision. Prior to that loss, Holtzman had put together a three-fight win streak against opponents Michael McBride, Darrell Horcher, and Alan Patrick. His last loss before Lentz came all the way back in 2016 when he lost a decision to Josh Emmett.

”Hot Sauce” stands at 5 feet, 9 inches tall and has a reach of 70 inches. Holtzman fights out of Knoxville, Tennessee and trains with Shield Systems/MMA Lab. The American fighter has been active in MMA since 2012 and has a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Ben Harrison.

Since joining the UFC in 2015, Dong Hyun Ma, 30, has gone 3-3. Ma’s last fight was at UFC 234 back on February 10 of this year. Ma fought Devonte Smith and lost the bout via first-round TKO. Prior to the loss, Ma had won three fights in a row including a TKO victory over MMA legend Takanori Gomi.

”Maestro” stands at 5 feet, 11 inches tall and will have the two inch height advantage. However his reach equals his opponent’s at 70 inches. Ma fights out of Busan, South Korea with the Busan Team M.A.D. He has been active in MMA since 2007 and has a first-degree black belt in judo.

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Darko Stosic (13-2) vs Kennedy Nzechukwu (6-1) – Light heavyweight division

Light heavyweight fighter Darko Stosic, 27, made his UFC debut only two months ago on June 1. Stosic fought Devin Clark at UFC on ESPN+ 11 and lost the fight via unanimous decision. Stosic had entered the UFC on a nine-fight winning streak.

The Serbian fighter stands at an even 6 feet tall and has a reach of 76 inches. He fights out of Belgrade and has a fighting foundation in judo. He is ranked as 36th best light heavyweight in the world.

Like his opponent, Kennedy Nzechukwu is also 27-years-old. Like Stosic, he also recently made his UFC debut and lost. Nzechukwu last fought on March 30 against Paul Craig and lost the bout via third-round triangle choke at UFC on ESPN 2. He had won all six of his previous professional fights heading into the organization.

”The African Savage” stands at a staggering 6 feet, 5 inches tall and will have the five inch height advantage over Stosic. He also has an 83 inch reach, giving him an astonishing seven inch reach advantage over his opponent. The Nigerian-born fighter fights out of Dallas, Texas with the Fortis MMA team.

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Ryan Bristlon

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Ryan Bristlon is a Canadian writer currently residing in Hamilton, Ontario. He studied print and broadcast journalism at Humber College and has been a lifelong fan of hockey, the NHL in general, and UFC.
Nationality: Canadian
Education: Print and Broadcast Journalism
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