UFC 272: Covington V Masvidal is arguably the most anticipated non-title fight of recent times. The upcoming event is hosted at the iconic T-Mobile Arena situated in the fight capital of the world: Las Vegas. The event is set to start as early as 11 PM GMT / 6 PM ET on Saturday March 5th February.
Colby Covington vs Jorge Masvidal
A lot has been said between the two fighters, from their deep-rooted friendship to their now utmost hatred from one another. This fight is as personal as a fight could possibly get.
Starting with “Chaos” Covington, Colby is currently sitting as the number one ranked Welterweight in the UFC, one place below the current Champion Kamaru Usman, of course. Although he failed to capture a win after two attempts against the Nigerian nightmare, it has been agreed that the cardio king has given Usman the hardest fight of his career so far. However, what made his fights against Kamaru so interesting was the fact that these two fighters have a very similar background: wrestling. But now, Colby will be focusing on a strictly stand up fighter, someone who is prone to knocking out fighters at a moment’s notice.
Masvidal on the other hand has had considerably less success in his bouts with Usman, where it was the second fight that saw Masvidal knocked out cold, something that is a very rare sight for the streetfighter-cum-UFC superstar. Looking to repair his two-loss streak on his wild 35-15 professional record, ‘Gamebred’ will be searching for an underdog win against his ex-teammate, but as fighters such as Robbie Lawler, Tyron Woodley and Rafael dos Anjos all know, Covington isn’t someone to mess with. Given Colby’s wrestling background, the obvious prediction would be that he will be able to drag Masvidal into deep water, but given the circumstances of their beef and Masvidal’s exceptional takedown defence, we could see a much grittier and dirty bout than we may initially expect.
Covington, who is 3 years younger than his 6th ranked counterpart, will certainly push the pace against the ex-lightweight fighter, which begs the question: Will we see Masvidal drown in the treacherous waters Colby is ready to put him through? Or will Colby follow suit of Masvidal’s last KO victims of Darren Till and Ben Askren? Time will tell.
Rafael Dos Anjos vs Renato Moicano
It was the 32-year-old Brazilian Renato Moicano who chose to step up on short notice to take on the ex-lightweight champion, Rafael Dos Anjos after Rafael Fiziev pulled out due to covid. However, when searching for an opponent, it was reported that sambo wrestler Islam Makhachev would be the one stepping up, but amongst all the rumours on Twitter, it appeared RDA called Islam’s bluff and he (Makhachev) did not want the fight.
The fight between Dos Anjos and Moicano will now be happening at a catchweight of 160 lbs, despite RDA initially preparing for 155. But due to the late notice, a win for RDA may still improve his ranking somewhat, even at a slightly different weight.
Dos Anjos missed out on fighting in 2021, with his last fight coming against Paul Felder on five days notice back in 2020, where he won via decision.
But despite Moicano sitting outside the official rankings, this does not mean this will be an easy fight. The ex-featherweight has wins over the likes of Calvin Kattar, Cub Swanson and Alexander Hernandez to name but a few. Alongside his impressive resume, the 32-year-old is also one of the best Jiu-Jitsu practitioners in the UFC, with 9 of his 16 wins coming by submission.
Edson Barboza vs Bryce Mitchell
After an unfortunate beat down by Giga Chikadze in August 2021, Barboza is back against the controversial yet talented Bryce Mitchell. In a classic striker vs grappler set-up, these two fighters are at the complete opposite ends of their respected careers, Barboza who is dubbed one of the best strikers in the UFC will want to prove that he can still mix it with the elite at the age of 36, whereas his opponent, ‘Thug Nasty’ will want to show that his hype, is very much real.
Barboza’s resume includes wins over the likes of Paul Felder, Dan Hooker and Beneil Dariush with an impressive MMA career stretching back since 2009. The lightning quick-kicker will be making his 32nd fight this weekend and showing he is still as deadly as ever.
Mitchell, on the other hand, is still fresh in comparison but makes him no less threatening. Still undefeated, the camo short wearing submission specialist is undefeated in his pro career with an impressive record of 14-0. With undoubtedly his biggest fight yet, a win over Barboza would cement the Arkansa native as a serious threat in the Featherweight division.
Fights to look out for
Kevin Holland vs Alex ‘Cowboy’ Oliveria
Marina Rodriguez vs Yan Xiaonan
Maryna Moroz vs Mariya Agapova
Brain Kelleher vs Umar Nurmagomedov