Covington (17-3 MMA, 12-3 UFC) challenges Edwards (20-3 MMA, 12-2 UFC) for the title in the UFC 296 headliner on Dec. 16 in Las Vegas. A former longtime American Top Team staple, Covington recently made the move to MMA Masters. His coaches, Cesar Carneiro and Daniel Valverde, envision a late finish from their fighter.
“I don’t think it’s going to pass the fourth round,” Carneiro told Sherdog.
“I think TKO fourth round,” Valverde added. “Third or fourth-round TKO Colby.”
Covington, a former interim champion, will look to claim the undisputed welterweight title in his third attempt after falling short to Kamaru Usman twice. Valverde insists Covington’s drive has never wavered.
“Colby’s hungrier than ever,” Valverde said. “Very hungry still. Colby’s a very famous guy. He’s a successful guy, but he’s still very, very hungry. He still wants this belt so bad.”
Covington hasn’t competed since a lopsided decision win over Jorge Masvidal at UFC 272 in March 2022. Carneiro said he made a pivotal change in Covington’s striking stance and vows he will show a whole new version of himself against Edwards. He said switching stances has now become second nature for Covington.
“We realized that Colby is not a real southpaw,” Carneiro said. “So, now we know exactly what we have to work with him. Get his cross better, get his orthodox better, and we did. If you look at him now, he’s amazing. He doesn’t drop his hand like before, like a boxer.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 296.