UFC 187 Fight Breakdown: Colby Covington vs. Mike Pyle

Colby Covington One of the Fight Pass prelims at UFC 187 is a three-round welterweight bout between Colby Covington and Mike Pyle. According to the current betting lines available at Several Bookmakers, Covington is a -295 favorite (bet $295 to win $100) while Pyle is a +265 underdog (bet $100 to win $265). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Covington at -215 and Pyle at +165, and the action has come in on the youngster Covington so far. I think the line is out of hand at this point but I am going to slightly lean towards Covington to get the win. Here’s why. Covington (7-0) is one of the top welterweight prospects in the UFC. The 27-year-old American is 2-0 in the UFC with dual submission wins over Wang Anying and Wagner Silva, although the Anying submission was actually due to punches. Covington comes from a wrestling background and he’s used his wrestling well in MMA. He goes for takedowns and he often gets them, and when he does he goes for heavy ground and pound and submissions on the mat. The guy is very aggressive and is constantly looking for the finish, and more often than not he gets it. The UFC is very high on Covington and wants to see just how good he is. He’s getting a huge step up in competition here against Pyle, and it’s a dangerous fight to take — one that he took on short notice, filling in for an injured Sean Spencer — but if Covington passes this test it will be a huge boost to his career, and I’m very interested in seeing if he can live up to the expectations. Pyle (26-10-1) is one of the most well-travelled vets of the UFC welterweight division. The 39-year-old American is 9-4 in the UFC with wins over the likes of Rick Story, John Hathaway, TJ Waldburger and Ricardo Almeida, with losses to Jordan Mein, Brock Larson, Rory MacDonald and Jake Ellenberger. Pyle is a well-rounded, dangerous veteran who is skilled everywhere. He is a real student of the game and has been fighting since the beginning, having competed in almost every major organization, in multiple weight classes, and against many solid opponents. Pyle is a finished with 22 of his win coming by stoppage. He is most known for his submission game — he has tapped out 16 opponents — but in recent years he’s really shown off his brutal muay Thai attack. He is dangerous on the feet and on the ground and with underrated wrestling, he’s often able to dictate where his fights take place. The biggest problems for Pyle are his chin and age. Even though he’s the best fighter he’s ever been, he’s very old and his chin has taken a ton of damage in his career and is no longer capable of it. That’s why so many are fading him in this spot against a young fighter in Mein. Given the knocks against him, it’s understandable why people are betting against him, but he’s a crafty vet and with his ability to stop the fight on the ground or on the feet, it’s hard to ever count him out, especially against an inexperienced youngster like Covington. When this fight was first announced I figured it would be an easy win for Covington. After all, he’s a lot younger and he’s taken a lot less damage in the sport. My original line of thinking was that Covington would take Pyle down and TKO him with ground and pound. I still lean towards that happening, but the more I think about this fight the less I like Covington for a bet here. Pyle is old and chinny, but he’s the better mixed martial artist in this fight and I think he’s a live dog. Pyle is skilled both on the feet and on the ground and has a lot more experience than Covington. Covington also took this fight on short notice, so you have to wonder what shape he’s in compared to Pyle. Additionally, the fight is taking place in Pyle’s hometown of Las Vegas. To me, that’s too many red flags going against Covington, so I won’t be betting on him here at the current odds. The betting value is actually on the dog Pyle given the lopsided odds, but personally I’m going to just pass this one. I am looking at the prop on Covington by T/KO at +290 as a value prop play though.

Written by Adam Martin.

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