UFC Fight Night: Edwards vs. Covington - Odds, Predictions & Picks

Written by: Ryan Bristlon
Published December 16, 2023
6 min read
  • Two title fights headline the final UFC pay-per-view event of the year

  • Six of the top-ten UFC welterweights will fight on the main card

  • Tony Ferguson hopes to snap his six-fight skid with a win over Paddy Pimblett

UFC 296: Edwards vs. Covington

The odds for this match are provided by the DraftKings Sportsbook. Click the odds below to place your bets at DraftKings.

(C) Leon Edwards-155
Colby Covington+130
(C) Alexandre Pantoja-192
Brandon Royval+160
Shavkat Rakhmonov-650
Stephen Thompson+470
Tony Ferguson+245
Paddy Pimblett-305
Vicente Luque+275
Ian Machado Garry-345
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UFC Fight Night Edwards vs Covington Predictions

UFC 296: Edwards vs. Covington - Picks & Predictions

(C) Leon Edwards vs. Colby Covington - Welterweight championship

Our pick:  Leon Edwards (-155) at DraftKings

(C) Alexandre Pantoja vs. Brandon Royval - Flyweight championship

Our pick: Brandon Royval (+160) at DraftKings

Shavkat Rakhmonov vs. Stephen Thompson - Welterweight division

Our pick: Shavkat Rakhmonov (-650) at DraftKings

Tony Ferguson vs. Paddy Pimblett - Lightweight division

Our pick: Paddy Pimblett (-305) at DraftKings

Vicente Luque vs. Ian Machado Garry - Welterweight division

Our pick: Vicente Luque (+275) at DraftKings

Head over to DraftKings Sportsbook to bet on our picks!

Leon Edwards vs. Colby Covington - Welterweight championship

Leon EdwardsTALE OF THE TAPEColby Covington
6 ftHeight5 ft 11 in
74 inReach72 in
21-3, 1 no-contestRecord17-3

Cardio machine, credentialed wrestler, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Colby Covington gets his third crack at the welterweight championship this Saturday, taking on a champ NOT named Kamaru Usman.

Some would say this is an odd choice for the number-one contender by the UFC as Covington is only 2-2 in his last four fights and hasn’t stepped into the cage since March 2022 when he defeated Jorge Masvidal by unanimous decision.

Leon Edwards, who hasn’t lost a fight since 2015 (against former champion Kamaru Usman) won his title from Usman in the summer of 2022. He has since defended it once - in a rematch against Usman whom he defeated once again this past March at UFC 286.

Edwards is younger, taller, and longer than Covington and is highly regarded as the better striker. But one must not rule out Covington’s cardio prowess and relentless pressure.

As of right now, oddsmakers list Edwards as the -155 favorite, expecting the champion to retain his title in this Saturday’s main event.

To find out how to place your bets for this welterweight title main event, check out our ultimate UFC betting guide to get started.

Alexandre Pantoja vs. Brandon Royval - Flyweight championship

Alexandre PantojaTALE OF THE TAPEBrandon Royval
5 ft 5 inHeight5 ft 9 in
68 inReach68 in

Riding a three-fight winning streak into his title fight against Brandon Moreno, Alexandre Pantoja finally won the gold via split decision at UFC 290 back in July. He will defend his title for the first time in this weekend’s co-main event.

Like Pantoja before him, Brandon Royval is also riding a three-fight winning streak into his first UFC championship boat. The number-two-ranked flyweight last defeated Matheus Nicolau via first-round knockout back in April. 

Although the champion has more professional fighting experience, it is the challenger who is two years younger and who will enjoy a four-inch height advantage. 

Regardless, the champ Pantoja still comes in as the -192 favorite.

Shavkat Rakhmonov vs. Stephen Thompson - Welterweight division

Shavkat RakhmonovTALE OF THE TAPEStephen Thompson
6 ft 1 inHeight6 ft
77 inReach75 in

The second of two undefeated welterweights to appear on this weekend’s main card, sambo and wrestling specialist Shavkat Pakhmonov will have his mettle tested against the superior striker and two-time title challenger Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson.

Thompson has struggled in recent years, to be fair, but he recently snapped a two-fight skid when he earned a fourth-round TKO win over Kevin Holland last December.

In his last appearance, Rakhmonov earned his fifth UFC win, defeating Geoff Neal via submission at UFC 285 and remaining undefeated as a pro fighter.

Despite “Wonderboys” insanely high striking credentials, it’s Rakhmovin who comes in with all the physical advantages here - standing one inch taller, having a two-inch advantage in reach, and being 11 years younger.

Rakhmonov stands as the main card’s largest betting favorite to win at -650 over Thompson.

Tony Ferguson vs. Paddy Pimblett - Lightweight division

Tony FergusonTALE OF THE TAPEPaddy Pimblett
6 ftHeight5 ft 10 in
76.5 inReach73 in

Just three years ago, Tony Ferguson was an interim lightweight champion on a 12-fight winning streak. Today, he finds himself on a six-fight losing skid - having been finished in four of those losses, most recently by submission at the hands of Bobby Green at UFC 291.

Undefeated in his last six bouts, Paddy Pimblett will enter the cage against Ferguson riding some controversy, as many believe he didn’t do enough to earn the decision nod in his last fight against Jared Gordon.

Regardless, Pimblett was deemed the winner but has been out of action since last December recovering from injury. He is likely itching to get back to prove himself against the former interim champion.

Ferguson is a cardio machine and will have height and reach advantages in this fight. But it is no surprise that the UK-born Pimblett will enter the cage this Saturday as the -305 favorite at DraftKings.

Vicente Luque vs. Ian Machado Garry - Welterweight division

Vicente LuqueTALE OF THE TAPEIan Machado Garry
5 ft 11 inHeight6 ft 3 in
75.5 inReach74.5 in

Aptly nicknamed “The Future”, Ian Machado Garry is the other undefeated fighter other than Rakhmonov on this main card. But his fight against number-nine-ranked Vicente Luque will undoubtedly be the toughest challenge of his career thus far.

Luque recently snapped a two-fight skid with his win over former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos back in August.

Ian Garry most recently defeated Neil Magny via decision at UFC 292 - a fight he called for in notorious fashion. It was his 13th straight win and his sixth win under the UFC banner.

Despite standing four inches taller, Garry will actually have a one-inch DISADVANTAGE in reach. Regardless, the Irishman is still a -345 favorite over Luque in this weekend’s main card kickoff bout.

How to Watch UFC 296: Edwards vs. Covington

  • LOCATION: T-Mobile Arena, Paradise, Nevada

  • WHEN: Saturday, December 16

  • TIME: 10PM EST

  • HOW: PPV, UFC Fight Pass, ESPN+

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Ryan Bristlon

Sports Betting Analyst

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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
Favourite Sportsbook: BetRivers Sportsbook
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