The mixed martial arts (MMA) grudge match years in the making is finally upon us, with former friends and training partners at American Top Team (ATT), Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal, set to settle their score TONIGHT (Sat., March 5, 2022) in the pay-per-view (PPV) main event of UFC 272, which is taking place inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Indeed, the friendship is long over, and now all that’s left is for the Welterweight standouts to punch, kick and knee each other in the face repeatedly until one of them falls down.
Covington is still ranked atop the 170-pound contender hierarchy, despite two losses to reigning division kingpin, Kamaru Usman. The rematch in Nov. 2021 was closer than their first encounter, with “Chaos” dropping a close decision. Masvidal (No. 6), meanwhile, is coming off back-to-back losses to “Nigerian Nightmare,” including a devastating knockout defeat back in April 2021 (watch it).
Long story short, the winner, Covington, will remain in the thick of the Welterweight title chase after a dominant performance (watch highlights), while a dejected Masvidal will slide further down the rankings and further away from 170-pound relevance ... no matter what he might say.
Live updates will began to flow below the moment the two fighters made their way to the Octagon ...
Masvidal, UFC’s first (and only) “BMF” champion, was the first to make his walk to the cage:
Then it was time for “Chaos” to do the same:
Unsurprisingly, both fighters refused to touch gloves and we were off ...
Masvidal ran out of his corner, threatening with some sort of flying attack early. Covington stepped aside and started to circle, with Masvidal scoring with a low kick, while he rushed in with a sloppy combination of hooks, one of which caught “Gamebred” in the eye. He complained to referee Herb Dean as Covington pushed him against the fence, angling for a takedown. Masvidal hit him with three hard downward elbows, just before Covington was able to secure the takedown. He kept trying to get to his feet, with Covington getting to his back, looking for a rear-naked choke. Masvidal sat on his but, back to the fence, with Covington draped all over his back. Covington kept changing his grips, sneaking in short punches and hoping to slip his forearm under his chin. Masvidal fought the wrists and did a good job of not absorbing too much damage, as Covington tried to get him in full mount, which he had for a few seconds before Masvidal was able to get back to his feet. Masvidal whiffed on some big kicks, then a few teeps down the middle as the round came to a close. Big round for Covington.
Covington was warned before the round started about the eye poke, then he launched a high kick that was just way too high, falling on his butt. A few hard low kicks from Masvidal, then some punches upstairs, but nothing really effective landing early. Covington once again closed the distance and pressed him up against the cage, with Masvidal uncorking more violent elbows to his temple. Dean separated them, claiming Covington landed a low blow ... then the ESPN+ feed went dead.
Action resumed with about two minutes remaining in the round, with Covington launching a high kick that was blocked, then a steady diet of jabs along the fence. Covington missed on a hook, with Masvidal scoring on the counter. Solid left hook landed for Covington as the round came to a close.
Big high kick from Masvidal straight out of the gate, with Covington blocking it then bum rushing him into the fence. Masvidal circled out, but Covington was right back on him, dragging him to the canvas just one minute into the round. He started to do some damage from the top, including a sharp elbow that opened up the Cuban. More hard shots from the top from Covington as Masvidal tried in vain to buck him off. Body shots from Covington, which the crowd didn’t appear to like very much. Masvidal tried to sweep his way out from the bottom, but Covington was just relentless with his smothering pressure. Masvidal tried to get to his knees, with Covington applying a neck crank as he was seated along the fence. He did it again and Masvidal spun to his belly, but in the scramble, Covington was somehow able to get right back on top. He drilled him with knees from the side as the round came to a close, with Masvidal scoring a big left hand at the very end.
Masvidal appeared to be down on the judges scorecards, most likely needing a finish to win the fight. He stuffed a telegraphed takedown attempt early, but Covington would not be denied, pushing him up against the fence once again and angling for takedowns, while sneaking in shots on the break. Uppercut from Covington, followed by a left hook to the ear that Masvidal didn’t appear to like very much. Midway through the round, Masvidal uncorked a flying knee, with Covington then countering with a barrage along the fence. Masvidal, perhaps playing possum, fired back, dropping Covington to a knee with a huge right hand. Covington was real hurt, but Masvidal wasn’t turning on the pressure, content to patiently wait with more than one minute to go. Covington then wisely clinched along the cage, with Masvidal seemingly missing a big opportunity to close the show early.
Great start for Covington, who landed a nice shot early to set up another quick takedown. He had Masvidal in that same odd position, sitting with his back to the cage with Covington draped around his back. Masvidal returned to his feet with Covington still behind him, dragging him to the mat once more. Covington trying to get his hooks in, but Masvidal defending off his knees. Little rabbit punches from Covington, but Masvidal just had no answers for Covington’s dominant pace and pressure. Covington secured full mount with one minute remaining, but Masvidal was able to get to his butt. Covington went for a choke, but Masvidal spun out as the round came to a close.
Final result: Covington def. Masvidal via unanimous decision (49-46, 50-44 and 50-45) — WATCH HIGHLIGHTS!
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