You know what I love to do? Call sporting events. Like, it’s one of my favorite things in the world with very few things coming before it like, a really good sandwich, hearing my favorite band play live and ... to crush your enemies.
My love of movies that feature Wilt Chamberlain aside, UFC 272 is tonight (Sat., March 5, 2022) inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, as you’re reading this and/or listening to it via the weird robot that reads my words to you, and I’m excited, but this pay-per-view (PPV) main event makes no sense to me.
Indeed, Colby Covington vs. Jorge Masvidal is the peak of what I’ve coined the “Ruthless Aggression” era of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC): two people with value, who compared to their peers have less of a draw battling to basically be second-best and unable to fill the shoes of who came before them.
The showdown between “Chaos” and “Gamebred” is not a fight to see who will be the next to take on Kamaru Usman, a dude who dusted both of these guys in previous fights. On the contrary, it’s actually a fight to see who takes Conor McGregor’s job as UFC lightning rod and/or top heel/babyface (depending on your political allegiances).
Covington has a seventh-rate “Superstar” Billy Graham impression with notes cribbed from independent wrestlers he’s worked with over the years. Covington has done what we call in professional wrestling, “work yourself into a shoot,” by buying into his schtick and thinking that he’s the draw in UFC.
While Covington’s rematch with Usman did a more than respectable 700,000 PPV buys, so did Masvidal’s rematch with Usman. And Masvidal’s last-minute fight with Usman at UFC 251 out-paced both by 600,000 PPV buys (per Tapology).
Meanwhile, Masvidal’s star was shining bright just under three years ago when he kneed Ben Askren into a living meme (watch it); however, since then his star turn has come up short with a disappointing “BMF” title fight against Nate Diaz and two losses to Usman, all the OTHER stuff has also not helped grow Masvidal’s audience.
Masvidal and Covington’s opinions on politics and government programs aside, the build for this fight is real acrimony and hatred between two former friends who have let egos, success and the allure of being the “Top Guy” as McGregor continues the dance of whether or not he’ll be a fighter, let alone a successful fighter.
But, this is the stuff I love about mixed martial arts (MMA): real issues, real emotion. And, for the first time in a long time, Covington doesn’t need the hack lines or promos written for him that were stolen from an episode of Championship Wrestling from ‘77 or ‘84, but he still uses them because he’s a hack.
This fight is a tipping point for the fighters individually and for UFC collectively, which continues to scour the ranks for anyone who can bring the company into a fourth golden age as its stars leave them for paychecks that are at least 18 percent better for what they can get inside the eight-walled cage.
Nevertheless, join Brendan Sokler and I tonight as we toast to great fights and great conversation and my inevitable loud screaming or saying a line that makes so little sense that it is actually perfect.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 272 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC 272: “Covington vs. Masvidal” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.