This weekend Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal are scheduled to meet in the main event of UFC 272. The top welterweights will be hoping a win gets them closer to another UFC title shot. However, in this case, bad blood and bragging rights might be the key motivating factor.
Covington and Masvidal are former teammates and the build-up for their contest has included more trash talk than most other fights. Despite the soap opera around the bout, the outcome will likely solidify one fighter as the second best fighter in their division.
The best fighter at 170 lbs is of course champion Kamaru Usman, who has dispatched of both Covington and Masvidal, twice.
Recently Covington has suggested that he might not be interested in facing Usman for a third time. He instead suggested that he could move up in weight and challenge UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya. This isn’t the first time he’s said this.
Count UFC President Dana White as someone who is not a fan of a potential Covington vs. Adesanya match-up.
When he spoke to Yahoo!’s Kevin Iole White couldn’t hide his amusement at the idea of ‘Chaos’ thinking he could challenge ‘The Last StyleBender’.
“Adesanya is a world champion,” he said (ht sportskeeda). “I don’t know how you jump from not beating Usman twice to Israel Adesanya, you know? … You think he should be able to jump a weight class up to take on that champion when he didn’t beat the champion twice in his own weight class?”
White didn’t completely close the door on Covington’s 185 lb title aspirations, though. He agreed with Iole that if Covington could beat former champion, and recent challenger, Robert Whittaker then he could jump the line and get to Adesanya.
Covington’s pro record dropped to 16-3 last time out when he lost a unanimous decision to Usman at UFC 268 in November. That loss followed a TKO win over former champion Tyron Woodley in 2020. Prior to that win he was TKO’d by Usman at 2019’s UFC 245.
Covington’s first title shot came after a seven fight win streak, which included unanimous decision wins over Robbie Lawler, Rafael dos Anjos and Demian Maia.
This weekend’s UFC 272 is being held at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV. The co-main event sees former UFC lightweight champion dos Anjos take on Renato Moicano. Moicano is a very late replacement for Rafael Fiziev, who had to bow out of the fight due to COVID-19. Also on the card is a welterweight clash between Kevin Holland and Alex Oliveira.
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