After Alexander Volkanovski’s trilogy fight with Max Holloway collapsed and his next defense was pushed back to UFC 273, the March pay-per-view was left needing a new headliner. What better replacement than one of the most highly-anticipated grudge matches in the UFC right now?
Former friends and teammates Covington and Masvidal will settle their differences inside the Octagon on March 5. While predictions will differ for the contest, one thing that isn’t up for debate is that fans are in store for a heated and entertaining build-up.
O’Malley Reveals His “Gut Feeling”
Both Covington and Masvidal are coming off losses to reigning welterweight king Kamaru Usman. “Gamebred” fell to back-to-back setbacks against the champion at UFC 251 and 261. “Chaos,” meanwhile, failed in his attempts to reach the 170-pound mountaintop at UFC 245 and UFC 268.
But despite failing to dethrone “The Nigerian Nightmare,” Covington undoubtedly came closer to doing so than Masvidal, who was knocked out cold by Usman last April.
Nevertheless, the Miami native had been in fine form before colliding with Usman, securing finishes against Darren Till, Ben Askren, and Nate Diaz in 2019. Rising bantamweight star O’Malley believes Masvidal could return to that level of form when he enters the Octagon with Covington in March.
“Jorge has never really been taken down and just beaten up for 25 minutes, ever in his career,” O’Malley said on an episode of his YouTube podcast. “If anyone was going to do it, you think it would have been Usman. Usman didn’t go out there, take him down, and maul him. He did knock him out but I don’t know.
“That’s a sick fight. I just get a gut feeling right now that Masvidal could definitely piece up Colby if he shuts down the striking or shuts down the takedowns,” added O’Malley. “Colby brings an insane pace, but Masvidal, that’s going to be such a sick fight. This is the fight I’m most hyped about out of all the big ones.” (h/t Pundit Arena)
While the fight announcement is still fresh and the clash weeks away, the trash talk and social media exchanges have already begun.
Given Covington’s antics prior to his rematch with Usman, we can expect an even more bitter build-up this time around, especially given the former interim champ’s history with former ATT teammate Masvidal.
How do you see the UFC 272 main event between Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington playing out?