Woodley, Cerrone the underdogs on UFC odds for Saturday

Tyron Woodley at a weight-in. (AP Photo)

Former UFC champions clash as Tyron Woodley takes on Colby Covington on Saturday in the main event at UFC Fight Night as a +265 underdog on the UFC odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Woodley has struggled over the past 18 months, falling to defeat in back-to-back contests for the first time in his career, and now takes a 19-5-1 professional MMA record into Saturday night’s bout at UFC APEX.

The first of Woodley’s two recent defeats, a five-round unanimous-decision loss to Kamaru Usman at UFC 235, cost him the UFC welterweight title. Woodley suffered another unanimous-decision defeat to Gilbert Burns at UFC on ESPN 9 while sporting minus-200 odds.

Overall, Woodley has seen five of his past six fights go a full five rounds, and sports a 7-4 career record in fights that have gone the distance. However, Woodley must combat a trend that has favoured betting chalk since the UFC started staging events with no fans due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with fighters sporting negative odds at online sports betting sites claiming victory in 66 per cent of bouts in the bubble.

That’s good news for Covington, who will step into the octagon on Saturday night set as a heavy minus-350 favourite. Covington fell short in his bid for the UFC welterweight crown last time out, suffering a fifth-round TKO loss to Usman as a +170 wager. That loss put the brakes on a seven-fight win streak, and marked the first knockout of the 32-year-old American’s eight-year MMA career.

Like Woodley, Covington has plenty of experience in fights that go the distance. Five of his past six fights have been decided by the judges, including a unanimous-decision win over Rafael dos Anjos that briefly made him the interim UFC welterweight champion. However, Covington earned a reputation as a submission specialist early in his career, with five of his 15 career wins coming by tap out.

Elsewhere on the UFC betting lines for this weekend, fan favourite Donald Cerrone searches for an end to a career-worst four-fight losing streak as he battles fellow welterweight Niko Price as a +125 underdog. Cerrone has seen two of his four recent defeats come by first-round TKO, and sports a 7-6 career record as a welterweight.

Listed as minus-155 chalk for Saturday night, Price has also struggled of late, losing three of his past five fights. However, he won in impressive fashion in his two recent victories, recording opening-round TKO wins over Tim Means and James Vick.

As well, earlier in the night Khamzat Chimaev battles fellow middleweight Gerald Meerschaert as a minus-400 betting favourite, while Johnny Walker is minus-130 chalk in his light heavyweight clash with Ryan Spann.

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