Teddy Atlas praises Leon Edwards ahead of UFC 296: “He got 30 percent better when he won that title”

By Zain Bando - December 12, 2023

Teddy Atlas is a fixture of the fight game, specifically boxing.

Teddy Atlas

But when it comes to the UFC, specifically UFC 296, which takes place Saturday night from Las Vegas, Nevada, he also knows a thing or two.

On his recent podcast ‘The FIGHT with Teddy Atlas,’ Atlas broke down the keys to victory for Leon Edwards’ title defense against Colby Covington and how he sees the fight playing out.

“He got 30 percent better when he won that title [against Kamaru Usman],” Teddy Atlas said. “He has got everything going for him. He’s got the skills. He’s got the technique, and he has got the belief of a champion going for him right now.”

RELATED: Colby Covington explains why he’s the top pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC

Atlas said the fight will come down to Edwards’ ability to come forward and catch Covington with something as Colby shoots in for a takedown. He could also see the fight going to the championship rounds.

“Covington does three things – he comes in, he comes in, and he comes in more,” Teddy Atlas said. “And he does more than that. Of course, he’s very talented on the mat, too, but he is such a proud, tough warrior that sometimes, he’ll forego going onto the mat where he can show his great wrestling skills. He’ll forego that just to strike with you to win that way.”

Edwards and Covington have been linked to a fight for a while, as the fight is Covington’s third title shot since 2019, losing twice to then-champion Usman.

Covington’s last victory came at UFC 272 against Jorge Masvidal in March 2022, and he has not won back-to-back fights in four years. As for Edwards, he is coming off his second-straight victory against Usman and has not lost in eight years.

UFC 296 begins at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT, capped off by the pay-per-view at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.

What are your thoughts on Teddy Atlas’s comments? Let us know, Penn Nation!


Colby Covington Leon Edwards UFC 296