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UFC 245: Kenny Florian on Why He’s “Leaning Towards” Colby Covington in Kamaru Usman Fight

The odds makers currently have Colby Covington as the underdog heading into his bout with Kamaru Usman. But, Kenny Florian believes "Chaos" will likely take home the welterweight title at UFC 245.

Kamaru Usman secured the UFC’s welterweight title earlier this year by ending the reign of Tyron Woodley. But, recently Kenny Florian outlined why he believes Usman’s run as champion could end at UFC 2545, when he faces Colby Covington.

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Florian’s take on Usman – Covington

After Covington worked his way to a dominant, decision win over Robbie Lawler in August, the controversial fighter was eventually booked to fight Usman on December 14th. The champion hasn’t fought since he took the 170 title from Woodley in March, via a UD victory.

Well, recently Florian weighed in on the upcoming, championship fight during his podcast with Jon Anik. Here is some of what the retired fighter had to say (quotes via BJ Penn.com).

“If you asked me before Colby’s fight against Robbie Lawler who I think would win, I would say Kamaru Usman very confidently,” Florian said. “Now I’m leaning towards Colby Covington. I just think that the kind of pace that he put on Robbie Lawler and me expecting him to eventually get tired, and that just never took place. The improvement in his striking was significant enough for me to say that he has better striking than Kamaru Usman. The way that he was putting together the combinations, the way that he looked way more technical. Again, I haven’t seen a performance like that as far as conditioning-wise in a very long time. Khabib will just straight outwrestle you and put out a pace on the ground, but I haven’t seen a pace like that on the feet and on the ground with the wrestling. I was super impressed with Colby Covington’s performance. Hate him or love him, that guy has improved as a martial artist.”

It’s an interesting bout on several levels, and it does seem like most people believe the longer the fight goes, the better will go for Covington. Neither man has a reputation for being a finishing type of striker, but Covington did fire many impressive combos during his bout with Lawler, as Florian mentioned.

Florian’s interesting comments about Woodley

Since Woodley lost to Usman, he’s repeatedly trashed his own performance in the UFC 235 headliner. During the aforementioned podcast, Florian had this to say about that fight:

“I think that Usman’s a tremendous fighter but I have a hard time believing that was the best Tyron Woodley out there on fight night,” Florian said. “He didn’t look right mentally, he didn’t look right physically to me. Coming off that surgery, that was not what Tyron Woodley truly offers in a championship fight. Not to take away from Usman’s performance and it was phenomenal, I just think he fought him at the right time and was able to take advantage of that.”

Yup. There’s no denying that Usman has a top-tier, comprehensive game. But, Woodley did seem to be off in his fight with Usman. Although the champ and his supporters would likely argue that was because of Usman’s pressure and the threat of takedowns.

UFC 245 will take place in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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