After years of badmouthing social media, a battle between two former gym buddies will finally take place at UFC 272. Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal will square off inside the Octagon, headlining the event.
The announcement was made by ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, who received word from Hunter Campbell, the UFC’s chief legal officer. UFC 272 takes place on March 5 from inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
This will be the first major non-title PPV fight since 2015 without Conor McGregor or Nate Diaz. Masvidal and Diaz fought inside Madison Square Garden in 2019, for the BMF championship, but the fight was scheduled for the main event without the title at one point.
A true veteran, Masvidal (35-15, 16 KOs) made his MMA debut in 2003. Competing for promotions like AFC, Strikeforce, Bellator and World Victory Road, “Gamebred” made his UFC debut in 2013. He is 12 years old. 8 for the promotion, with one of his wins against Ben Askren earning him the fastest knockout in UFC history.
Two-time Pac-10 and All-American wrestling champion, Covington (16-3, 4 KOs) made his professional debut in 2012. Upon joining the UFC in 2014, Covington had a seven-game winning streak starting in 2016 that changed his career. Debuting as a person many know by now, Covington defeated Rafael dos Anjos for the UFC interim welterweight title.
Both fighters are former title contenders. Covington fought Kamaru Usman for the UFC welterweight title at UFC 245 and UFC 268. In the first fight, Usman appeared to have broken Covington’s jaw. Usman finished the fight by TKO in round 5. In November, Usman and Covington went all the way, and Usman won by unanimous decision. Masvidal agreed to a fight against Usman with less than two weeks notice at UFC 251 in 2020. The former would lose by unanimous decision. He would be knocked out in the rematch at UFC 261 in April.
Covington and Usman were teammates on American Top Team, but have since criticized each other ever since Covington left for MMA Masters. They were both linked to trainer The Ultimate Fighter at one point, but nothing came of it.
As a result of the announcement of the fight, Ariel Helwani reports that the UFC featherweight and bantamweight title fights will now take place at UFC 273. Alexander Volkanovski will reportedly fight Chan Sung Jung for the featherweight title, while Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan will fight to determine the undisputed bantamweight champion.