UFC: Ben Askren Breaks Down Colby Covington vs Tyron Woodley

Tyron Woodley and Colby Covington will meet this weekend at UFC Vegas 11, in a grudge match that has been brewing for years. The two came close to fighting when ‘The Chosen One’ was the UFC welterweight champion, but the title shot went to Darren Till instead. Now, neither of the fighters hold a belt – interim or otherwise.

Former UFC fighter, and Bellator and ONE Championship welterweight champion Ben Askren, has given his thoughts on the main event showdown. ‘Funky’ and Woodley are good friends and both have made no secret of their dislike of Covington.

Letting His Hands Go

Speaking to Submission Radio (as transcribed by Bloody Elbow), Askren said he believes that Woodley is capable of knocking out Covington, if he actually throws his punches.

“Obviously I really, really want Tyron to win, because not only is he my friend, but Colby Covington is like the most annoying thing ever,” Askren said. “So, golly, sure hope there’s no way he wins.

“One of his biggest issues for his competitive career, whether it’s fighting or wrestling, is he just doesn’t pull the trigger sometimes. He gets inside and he just thinks too much. He’s really intelligent and he just thinks a lot about it, and I think that was kind of what happened with the Gilbert Burns fight. I know that’s what happened with the Marty (Kamaru Usman) fight. And so I’m hoping that gets fixed and he gets in there and lets his hands go. And if he lets his hands go, he should knock Colby out.

“It’s just him. When he went on that streak, he just let his hands go and he was getting tonnes of knockdowns and some knockouts, and that’s kind of what he’s got to get back to.”

Woodley has seven KOs and TKOs to his name. The most notable coming against Robbie Lawler at UFC 201 to win the belt. However, in his past two fights his striking has come under question as he’s struggled against Usman at UFC 235 and Burns at UFC Vegas, who both come from grappling backgrounds. The 28 year old’s significant strike rate has came down to less than two per minute in these two bouts.

Strategies

Covington is known for high striking volume, complimenting his wrestling game. Askren acknowledges this, but still believes his friend can get the job done this weekend.

“He does a good job,” Askren said. “He’s got a lot of high volume, some pretty solid wrestling. So yeah, he does a pretty good job.

“I don’t really foresee anyone having a strong wrestling advantage. I would say Colby’s strategy is probably going to try to close the distance and push him into the cage. That’s probably going to be what Colby tries to do, I would guess. And so, we’ll see if he can be successful or if Tyron’s going to be able to piece him up as he comes in.”

Who did you think will get their hand raised in the grudge match, in the UFC Vegas 11 main event between Colby Covington and Tyron Woodley?

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