Epic Grudge Match to Headline UFC 272
This event will be the first non-title headliner without Conor McGregor since Masvidal faced off against Nate Diaz at UFC 244, which did very well in PPV numbers.
Because of the extensive backstory and bad blood between these two fighters, this main fight card will be one of the easiest for the UFC to sell and promote in recent memory.
From the press conferences to the weigh-ins - Masvidal and Covington's storyline will keep fans glued to the television as their animosity boils over.
As neither martial artist wants to lose, they will certainly bring their A-game to this fight out of pride and hatred for the other. We may have our first fight of the year candidate on our hands.
Comparing their skills in the Octagon, Masvidal has the upper hand when it comes to power. Covington can't afford to stay at range and be inactive. He will need to try and smother Masvidal mixing up his striking and wrestling similar to the game plan against Robbie Lawler.
Masvidal has shown he can become a little too comfortable being on the defensive. If Covington can overwhelm him, he will create openings for takedowns and right hook.
Colby Covington must avoid being reckless on defense; this mistake got him knocked down by Kamaru Usman. A check left hook from Masvidal could do the same or put him to sleep.
A back step right straight punch would be an excellent technique for Masvidal to use, as it's a more natural opening against a southpaw fighter. The punch will reach its target faster than a southpaw fighter swinging overhand and looping punches.
Covington's tendency to always push forward could make this punch more powerful because he would walk right into it.
The timing of the punch and the ability to throw it across Masvidal’s body will determine whether it will be a difference-maker because Covington's head will be off-center when he's throwing his overhand right. Masvidal may also need to duck under Covington's overhand while throwing this punch to make the range to the target even shorter.
We've seen growth in Covington's game after changing camps and two close fights with the current champion Kamaru Usman. He's become more calculated in the octagon and flawlessly sets up the left hook to the body and uppercut combination. This combination behind a fake takedown could work well if he can get Masvidal to take the bait.
Jorge Masvidal is one of the most technically sound strikers we've seen in the UFC. He has great head movement and is good at evading punches. Covington's ability to catch him clean will be a challenging task. He has to make this fight sloppy. The sloppier, the better.
Both fighters are wrestlers, but Covington is more decorated. He should take advantage of the fact that Masvidal was taken down so easily in the Usman fight. With every kick, he must be aware of the possibility of a single or double leg takedown by Covington.
As a better Brazilian Jiu-jitsu player, Masvidal is good off of his back. Still, it's safe to say his BJJ skills are not to the level of Covington's wrestling ability.
I predict Colby Covington will win this fight by split decision in a very exciting contest. Along with millions of fans worldwide, I will definitely be buying this PPV. So, who are you riding with, Street Jesus Jorge Masvidal or Raw American steel twisted sex appeal, Colby Chaos Covington?
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