UFC On ESPN 5: Lawler vs Covington Betting Preview

Colby Covington vs Robbie Lawler - UFC Logo - ESPN 5 Logo

The UFC express just keeps rolling. I think I heard commentator Jon Anik say during last week’s event that we are in the midst of 8 straight weeks of UFC weekend action.

This week, we are headed to Newark, New Jersey…

Let’s examine what we did wrong and right from last week’s card first then get to this week’s action.

Previous UFC 240 Event

Flyweight Gillian Robertson looked amazing kicking off our night against fellow ground attack ace Sarah Frota.

While the Brazilian Frota may be the more decorated sport Jiu-Jitsu athlete, she clearly wasn’t the better MMA grappler.

Not all of BJJ is applicable at the highest level of mixed martial arts and this fight was the perfect example of that. I didn’t, however, call the winner but picked the over 1.5 rounds at (-145) and it hit.

Robertson finished her but fortunately for us, it took her longer than 7 and a half minutes.

I was big on the Arman Tsarukyan win (-180) and while it wasn’t as dominant as I expected, the Georgian prospect was able to win a unanimous decision.

The size of Aubin Mercier at 155 pounds is astounding. He is probably the biggest lightweight I have ever seen. Thankfully, Arman was absolutely relentless with his takedown attempts.

That brings us to the Geoff Neal versus Niko Price matchup and a clash of heads almost cost us the fight. Price is a wild card in there and Neal rather inexperienced in the Octagon, particularly, so I stayed away from his (+350) price tag and went with the risky over 1.5 rounds bet (+105).

It was at 2:39 of the second round when Neal got him out of there with strikes from the guard as he ignored instructions from his cornerman to pass. It worked out for the Dallas based fighter and us as well.


Cris Cyborg was (-620) to win so I attempted to get the W with the much more affordable first-round finish at (-138).

Felicia ignored mine, Ice Cube and Cris’s bids of adieu…

The featherweight/bantamweight prospect surprised us all taking a solid beating for 15 minutes and even splitting the former champion’s forehead quite badly with an elbow.

Props to Cyborg’s cutman for sure.

In the main event, I really believed Frankie had good value (+310) and the ability to upset Max Holloway but it wasn’t in the cards.

He wasn’t really ever close to being finished in there, though, so a Max by decision bet was the one to make.
That brings us to the parlay. I gave this one out to some friends in Vegas and they were very pleased.

I threw out three wins together with Geoff Neal and Cyborg winning and it paid out at a fulfilling (+692).

I mentioned that the Price/Neal over bet took the payout from (+277) to (+692). The books know what they’re doing because that was the only close call of the night.

How to Bet on This Week’s UFC on ESPN 5?

Now to the fights on the ESPN Network that will be held this Saturday afternoon around 3 PM Eastern, in fact.

There are not many big names on the card at all besides two vets past their prime in Clay Guida and Jim Miller in the co-main and Robbie Lawler and Colby Covington in the main event.

Both Clay and Jim are true workmen.

If I were the manager of a million-dollar company, I would hire both and take care of their needs as best I could.

You can always expect them to be as well-prepared as possible.

Robbie Lawler and the MAGA hat-wearing Covington are former long-time training partners but the latter isn’t holding back with his usual sell the fight trash talk.

There are only a few other fights I want to pick on the card so let’s get right into it. The betting odds this week are provided to us by BetOnline.

Antonina Shevchenko vs Lucie Pudilova


People are hating on Antonina because she lost to Roxanne Modafferi. Look, it was a bad matchup for her.

Shev was the favorite but Roxy has great takedowns and superior control on top.

Roxy wasn’t able to do it a couple of weeks ago to Jennifer Maia partly because the Brazilian was 4 pounds overweight but mostly because of her solid takedown defense and low center of gravity.

Antonina was still a bit green in the wrestling department but she didn’t get submitted or pounded out by Modafferi so she can still hold her own.

It was still a split decision.

Her opponent this Saturday, Czech Lucie Pudilova, is a proper striker herself but not to the level of Shevchenko.

Pudilova hung in there with the lengthy Irene Aldana on the feet but Irene is quite predictable out there and Racquel Pennington proved that a few weeks ago.

If Pudilova were a more accomplished grappler, I would maybe lean her way.

I do believe Shev is the superior athlete who is still improving in this game so I expect she has shored up the holes in her wrestling game after the Modafferi loss.

The Czech loves to strike but this will likely be ill-advised against Antonina who is 39-1 in professional kickboxing matches.

I just don’t believe Lucie has this amazing wrestling game in her back pocket, though. She is 0-3 on career takedown attempts.

It wouldn’t hurt the UFC’s value to put on Shevchenko the a-side as her sister may be one the best pound-for-pound mixed martial artists in the promotion.

I believe big sister Shev gets it done with a higher level of striking on Saturday.

My Pick
Shevchenko to win

Jim Miller vs Clay Guida


I have to admit that my first instinct was to stay away from this one but after watching some tape, I believe I know who is likely going to win this fight.

Clay Guida is a vet who always gets after it. Jim Miller is a vet who always gets after it.

I could go on mirroring their skills, age, experience, and fighting styles.

I believe that the wrestling will cancel out in this matchup and it will end up being a kickboxing match.

Guida can box maybe slightly better than Jim but Miller is the more versatile striker.

He will also have the hometown judges scoring this fight and if you don’t know, Jersey sticks with Jersey.

All jokes aside, I don’t think this one is a lock but I believe Jim still beats Clay 8/10 times.

My Pick
Miller to win

Colby Covington vs Robbie Lawler


Hey, a lot of people are saying Robbie has a ton of value in this fight but think about this:

  • A- They are former training partners at one of the largest gyms in MMA.
  • B- Word regarding the outcome of these sessions has made its way to the insiders who make these betting lines.
  • C- Colby is that dominant of a wrestler.

Robbie was a good wrestler himself way back in the day. It seems like he’s been fighting for 20 years or something.

Wait, he has.

That gives him experience, yes, but it also gives him some mileage.

Covington brought up the stat that nobody has absorbed as many significant strikes as Lawler in UFC history.

The recent performance that stands out to me was Robbie’s fight with Rafael Dos Anjos which he lost as a result of a 5-round decision.

Rafy out-struck him nearly 2 to 1 and took him down twice.

That latter point drives home the fact that if Dos Anjos can do it, Colby will be able to as well. I love Rafael but he has never been a masterful takedown artist.

I think Colby wears on the aging vet with endless pressure and probably pounds him out in the third.

My Pick
Covington to win

In Conclusion


  • PicksOdds
  • Shevchenko -147
  • Miller -145
  • Covington -225
  • Bet 32.25 To Win 100.00

This week should be a fun one. I apologize for not giving you guys a lot of picks this week but there are just too many unknowns with this card.

You have several debutant fighters and/or betting lines that are too expensive.

I also couldn’t find any over/under odds as they are normally a go-to in this situation. The UFC kicks off early this Saturday afternoon, so be ready for that.

I’m pretty confident this week with the picks I made so go ahead and put a few bucks on the parlay if you please.

Til’ next time, team!

Mike Pruitt / Author

Mike has been covering sports professionally since 2017 but on the amateur scene for 25 years since when he was 12. Before the internet changed the world, he would keep detailed statistical box scores of NFL and NBA contests, write recaps, and voluntarily commentate games and fights alone in his room. Mike's military experience, Bachelors Degree, and employment thereafter were always rooted in engineering, science, and teaching. Now he enjoys being able to express himself through writing about football, golf, and car racing among other sports but most of all fighting as his life has been rooted in mixed martial arts including competing and teaching for the past 15 years.