Updated:Mar 4, 2022 2:43 am
On Saturday, March 5th, T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas will be packed with fans excited to see the culmination of a bitter rivalry. It is well documented that Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal do not like each other. This is not just a case of prefight trash talk; the animosity between these two is real. UFC 272 will feature two of the best welterweights in the world, who also happen to have an added layer of personal motivation when they climb into the octagon to square off. There’s a lot to unpack here. Without further ado, let’s get into it!
Covington vs. Masvidal
There was a time when Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal could be seen in each other’s corners during matches. Being trained at the same gym and fighting under the same umbrella, the two welterweights weren’t just two of the best prospects in their division, they were members of the same mixed martial arts family. Old footage depicts Covington giving Masvidal a congratulatory embrace after a victory and vice versa. However, two competitors can only vie for the top spot in the same division for so long before they realize that they cannot occupy the same space. Covington and Masvidal are both alpha males; sooner or later they were going to have to throw down. The time is now.Embed from Getty Images
Colby Covington was a celebrated collegiate wrestler before turning pro in mixed martial arts. Jorge Masvidal was one of the best welterweights on rival organization Bellator’s roster before joining the UFC. Each man is in his 30s and in great physical shape. Both men have been involved in combat sports their entire lives. Neither man will be willing to give an inch once they climb into the octagon. This is a matchup between two of the top five welterweights in the world; choosing a winner ahead of time is no easy task. One thing’s for sure, anyone who loves to watch a good fight owes it to themselves to make sure they tune into this one.
Anjos vs. Moicano
Seven years ago, this month, Rafael dos Anjos became the UFC lightweight champion of the world. Since then he’s lost the title, spent several years in the welterweight division, and ultimately decided to return to lightweight. However, the division looks a lot different now then it did back when dos Anjos was crowned King. Now, the lightweight division is unquestionably the most competitive division in the sport and climbing to the top is harder than ever. Luckily for dos Anjos, he’s already worn the belt; now he can just focus on maintaining a high level of performance and making sure he’s giving the fans something they want to see each and every time he steps in the octagon.
Renato Moicano rose to prominence in Brazil after becoming one of the most respected and feared featherweights in the country. After gaining a reputation and putting on more muscle, Moicano joined the UFC as a lightweight in 2014. Over the last few years he’s looked mediocre, losing three out of his last six fights. The good news is he’s still relatively young at just 32-years-old. There’s still plenty of time left for him to right the ship and become a top notch prospect. Winning a bout on the main card of an internationally televised pay-per-view event would be a massive step in the right direction.
Barboza vs. Mitchell
After spending ten years in the lightweight division, Edson Barboza made the rare decision to drop down in weight in 2020. He became a featherweight and promptly lost his first match in his new division. Overall, he’s won two bouts and lost two bouts as a featherweight, causing rumors to swirl that March 5th is his featherweight finale. Conventional wisdom says it’s time for the aging Barboza to go back up to lightweight, where’s he’s been comfortable for years. Time will tell if he heeds that advice.
I love Bryce Mitchell’s nickname, Thug Nasty. It sounds like a moniker a professional wrestler would use in WWE. However, he hasn’t fought since 2020, and his whereabouts over the last two years are somewhat of a mystery. He didn’t suffer any major injuries that went public, so it’s hard to imagine why the now 27-year-old took all of 2021 off. Regardless, he has a record of 14 victories and zero defeats as a professional. With more than enough time to rest in between bouts, fans are sure to get the best that Mitchell has to offer this time around.
Holland vs. Oliveira
After spending years at middleweight, Kevin Holland has decided to return to welterweight for his upcoming bout against Alex Oliveira. Having established his home in Metropolitan Dallas, Holland spent years accumulating small regional championships in the Southern United States before finally joining the UFC’s roster. He is currently on a three fight losing streak; he needs to get back to winning if he doesn’t want to start filling out job applications once more. Alex Oliveira is on a three fight losing streak of his own coming into this bout. Fans can rest assured that neither man will take it easy; they’re both fighting for their spot in the organization. This promises to be an all-out war.
Spivak vs. Hardy
It’s hard to imagine the heavyweight showdown between Sergey Spivak and Greg Hardy going the distance on Saturday. Half of Spivak’s wins as a professional have come by way of knockout. All but one of Hardy’s wins as a professional have been executed through a stoppage. These two big men do not like to go the distance; they hit hard and they mean business. Spivak was once the WWFC heavyweight champion. Hardy was once an American Football standout in the NFL. Each man has made a living out of being big and strong and knowing how to inflict pain on others. This is a matchup fight fans will not want to miss!
How to watch
UFC 272 is available through pay-per-view on BT Sport in the United Kingdom and on ESPN Plus in the United States. As always, we’ll have all the latest updates about the outcomes of the fights, as well as in depth analysis, available right here at World in Sport!