Kamaru Usman hits Colby Covington in a mixed martial arts welterweight championship bout
Kamaru Usman hits Colby Covington in a mixed martial arts welterweight championship bout at UFC 245, Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)


Patrick Werkmeister

Boxing: Canelo vs. Plant
On the west coast from the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, either Canelo Alvarez or Caleb Plant will become the undisputed middleweight champion of the world. Plant comes in with a flawless 21-0 record where 12 of them came by way of knockout whereas the legend, Canelo, is an outstanding 56-1-2 with 38 knockouts. For this super middleweight bout, Canelo comes in at 168 pounds and his opponent Caleb Plant weighed in at 167. Although Plant holds the height and reach advantage, Canelo owns the title of the most elite defense in boxing, so he’ll be quite a handful for Plant. Nonetheless, it should be an entertaining championship contest. Here’s what I like for this 12-round scheduled fight.

Draft Kings UFC Promotion

Canelo Alvarez by Points or Decision (+240)
The opening line for this match favored Alvarez at nearly -850 and his ML odds have since increased to -1000. Last time out, Canelo soundly defeated Billy Joe Saunders via corner stoppage in the 8th round where he added the WBO super middleweight title to his collection. If he is able to secure the victory tonight, he will be the first undisputed middleweight in the last 30 years.

However, he will have to get through a scrappy opponent in Caleb Plant. On January 30, Plant retained his IBF title against Caleb Truax via unanimous decision. With the massive experience edge going to Canelo, it will be difficult for Plant to notch a better result than for Alvarez to win by decision. These odds of +240 for a Canelo victory by decision have tremendous value, whereas Canelo by KO is favored at -185. After seeing him land a slap against Canelo in their September press conference at the Beverly Hills Hotel, Caleb Plant seems to have the goods to at least stand with Canelo for 12 rounds. Take this juicy method prop for Canelo to win by decision.

UFC 268

From the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York, this fight night heats up with this 268th UFC event. This card is absolutely loaded with thrilling action featuring two championship bouts in the women’s strawweight and men’s welterweight division. While these championship fights will be electrifying, this entire card is the best one in a long time. It will once again be another volatile night in the UFC for this slate, and here’s what I like.

Zhang Weili by KO/TKO (+290)
For this title fight in the strawweight division, the opening line initially favored thug Rose Namajunas at -125 odds, but Zhang is now the listed favorite at -120. The last time these two met was just six months ago, it ended with a controversial knockout via head kick by Rose Namajunas. Out of the 37 total fights these two brawlers have fought in, 27 of them have ended inside the distance, so expect to see a stoppage of any kind to happen. Although Rose peppered the former champion and dominated the fight, some say the referee stopped the match prematurely. However, that does not take away from how perfect she looked throughout the 1 minute and 18 seconds of the fight. The challenger will certainly look to be more active this time and use her brute force. While Namajunas displayed her quickness and ability to evade, the strength of Zhang was hardly seen since the fight ended so early. She will be hungry for revenge in this one after giving up the belt. Implementing a more effective, methodical approach will be her key to victory and if she plays to her strengths, she should dominate. Bet on Bruce Buffer to announce “aaaand newww!” at the end of this one.

Kamaru Usman by KO/TKO (+145)
In the main event of the evening, current welterweight champion Kamaru Usman looks to defend his title versus Colby Covington. The Nigerian Nightmare opened up as a -250 ML favorite and is currently favored at odds of -300. Last time out, Kamaru Usman laid a vicious knockout on Jorge Masvidal in the 2nd round. Similarly, Covington is coming off of a TKO victory over Tyron Woodley. The first time these two met up was in 2019 when their back-and-forth exchange ended in the 5th round with Usman’s technical knockout finish. In-between each fight, Usman has shown vast improvement in every area from grappling to striking. At +145, these odds have exceptional value since this is a five round bout and because these fighters have developed a deep hatred for each other. Usman is clearly the more dominant and well-rounded fighter and should have a field day vs Covington. Take him to win by knockout in dominating fashion.

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