Masvidal vs Covington is official and it will be glorious. The ultimate grudge match of 2020's MMA will take place on March 5, in the main event of UFC 272. Rarely does a non-title fight between two fighters well out of title contention headline a UFC pay-per-view, however, with the level of talent involved and the legitimate bad blood between them, it doesn't get much bigger in fight sports than this.
Masvidal vs Covington: What you need to know
- Time:UFC 272 kicks of with the prelims at 6 pm ET on ESPN and streaming service ESPN+
- Cost: The main card pay-per-view, which costs US $74.99, begins at 10 pm ET exclusively on ESPN+
- Odds: The current FanDuel betting odds have Covington as a -270 favorite with Masvidal as a +220 underdog
- Tickets: You can purchase tickets for the event inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. when they become available here.
Can Covington's high output offense work on Masvidal?
Jorge Masvidal is without a doubt the better striker in this fight. However, Colby Covington is no slouch on the feet and his high output approach to striking could offer up some surprising problems for "Gamebred" on fight night.
- The other best boxer in the UFC: Featherweight star Max Holloway fancies himself the best pugilist in the UFC, but Masvidal can definitely make a case for that moniker as well. He has sneaky pop in his fists, excellent counters, underrated hand speed, elite technique and a chin to back him up when he makes a mistake or takes some risks. He is an absolute handful for any welterweight in the world in a striking duel.
- Covington's pressure striking: Covington is a two time UFC title challenger because of his elite wrestling, nevertheless, his striking has to be respected. He hasn't been cleaning clocks and putting opponents to sleep during his eight years in the promotion, but his high output striking mirrors the Diaz brothers, and it has proven difficult to handle for any fighter not named Kamaru Usman. However, Masvdial fought Nate Diaz in 2019, and handled the style masterfully to earn a doctor stoppage victory.
Can 'Gamebred' exercise the wrestling demons at UFC 272?
Masvidal definitely gets the nod when it comes to striking, but Covington's bread-and-butter is his wrestling and he should have some notable advantages when the former best friends lock up in the Octagon. However, will their long history as training partners and roommates help Masvidal succeed where he failed in being outwrestled by Usman in their title fights?
- Covington's pressure wrestling: Be it striking or wrestling, "Chaos" is all about pressure. His ability to push a high pace is one of his greatest strengths, and to do so in the wrestling department is where you seperate the contenders from the pretenders. He can use it offensively to grind opponents to dust, or defensively to force them into a striking sprint on the feet. Covington has proven over 14 Octagon appearances he is one of the very best grapplers in the world at 170-pounds.
- Street Jesus grappling: Masvidal does not win fights with his wrestling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu because he doesn't need to. But after 18 years in the sport, the 37-year-old knows how to grapple at a high level, and it has taken elite fighters to get him down and keep him there. Unfortunately for him, Covington is an elite grappler, and it would not be a surprise if there are some tricks he kept secret from the Cuban in case they ever had to faceoff one day.
Will the better gas tank break the tie?
Masvidal and Covington have reached the upper echelons of the welterweight divisions for various reasons, but their outstanding cardio is probably one of the pairs underappreciated abilities. The question is, will the gas tank battle at UFC 272 be a wash, or do either of them have an edge on their foe?
- Masvidal's fuel efficient style: Unlike his opponent, Masvidal doesn't try to outwork opponents. He isn't wasteful with his energy and prefers to play technical chess instead of gas tank checkers. Nevertheless, his history has shown that a durable wrestler with a strong gas tank can give even his elite cardio some trouble.
- Covington's always on F gas tank: Covington has the best cardio in the division and maybe on the entire UFC roster. He can grapple for five rounds and still look fresh enough for two more. There is nothing at all wrong with being gas efficient, but when your engine can run at 90 miles per hour for five straight rounds, that's hard to beat.
The bottom line: Masvidal vs Covington, on a technical level, is an outstanding matchup. But when you add in the friends turned enemies angle, and all the horrible things they have said about each other over the last few years, this fight has uncanny hate that makes it a truly special event. Covington is an understandable favorite as the younger man, but Masvidal is a very live underdog in this one.