Following years of social media trash-talking, a battle between two former gym partners will finally take place at UFC 272. Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal will face off inside the Octagon against each other, 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 set to 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 such as AFC, Strikeforce, Bellator, and World Victory Road, “Gamebred” made his UFC debut in 2013. He is 12-8 for the promotion, with one of his wins against Ben Askren earning him the fastest knockout in UFC history.
A two-time Pac-10 wrestling champion and All-American, Covington (16-3, 4 KOs) made his pro debut in 2012. Joining the UFC in 2014, Covington went on a seven-fight win streak starting in 2016 that changed his career. Debuting a persona many know him for now, Covington beat Rafael dos Anjos for the interim UFC 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 ended the fight via TKO in Round 5. In November, Usman and Covington went the distance, with Usman winning via unanimous decision. Masvidal accepted a fight against Usman on less than two weeks’ notice at UFC 251 in 2020. The former would lose via unanimous decision. He would get knocked out in the rematch at UFC 261 in April.
Covington and Usman were teammates at American Top Team, but have since called one another out since Covington left for MMA Masters. Both were linked to coach The Ultimate Fighter at one point, but nothing came from it.
As a result of the fight announcement, Ariel Helwani is reporting that the UFC featherweight and bantamweight title fights will now take place at UFC 273. Alexander Volkanovski is reportedly set to fight Chan Sung Jung for the featherweight title, while Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan will battle to determine the undisputed bantamweight champion.