It is the fight that fans have anticipated for the better part of three years now: the number 1 ranked welterweight contender and former interim welterweight champion, Colby ‘Chaos’ Covington, takes on his former stablemate and close friend, the Number 6 ranked welterweight and BMF Champion Jorge ‘Gamebred’ Masvidal.
For years, these two men were close friends during their rise in the ranks, training under the famous American Top Team gym which has been home to many world-class champions and fighters.
Colby Covington, 34, is coming into the fight off the back of a tough, close rematch with the UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman at UFC 268. Their first meeting at UFC 245 had ended in a stoppage in favor of Usman in the fourth round of that bout. Covington rebounded nine months later in a win against Tyron Woodley.
Now 3-2 since winning interim gold against Rafael Dos Anjos, his only losses coming against the champion Usman, Covington finds himself in a crossroads, having cashed in on a big grudge match fight against the second biggest draw in the sport, former close friend, Jorge Masvidal.
Masvidal, 37, finds himself in a similar position as Covington. Masvidal himself is coming in off back-to-back losses to the champ Kamaru Usman.
After returning to the octagon in 2019 after a year’s absence, Masvidal lit the MMA world on fire with a ‘fighter of the year’ campaign. In March 2019, Masvidal upset Darren Till in a knockout winning performance, only to follow it up with a record-setting five-second knockout to Ben Askren at UFC 239, capping it all off with a dominating doctor stoppage win against UFC superstar Nate Diaz to capture the ‘BMF’ Belt at UFC 244.
It was in July 2020 that Masvidal got the call to be a last-minute replacement for Gilbert Burns, who had come down with COVID, to face off against bitter rival Kamaru Usman with only one week’s notice. The fight was not competitive; despite Masvidal showing prowess in his striking in round one, he was gassed out by round four which led Usman to win by unanimous decision.
After Usman defeated Burns, the champ called Masvidal out for a rematch to truly settle their business at UFC 261; Usman viciously knocked Masvidal out in round 2.
Now, after both Covington and Masvidal have each tried twice to dethrone the champion, they are both looking to make their case for a third meeting with Usman but will have to go through each other to make their statement.
Covington (16-3), a grappling and wrestling specialist who has improved in his striking since last sparring with Masvidal, looks to show the world who was the more dominant friend when they sparred. Masvidal (35-15), the prolific striker who has improved on his wrestling defense skills, looks to put an end to this bitter and personal feud between the two fighters.
Who do you think will come out on top of this battle? Let us know in the comments!