Masvidal had one big moment, but Covington overall used his superior grappling and fast pace to control the fight en route to a 49-46, 50-44, 50-45 unanimous decision win in their welterweight headliner Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Covington Colby Covington (17-3 MMA, 12-3 UFC) vs. Masvidal (35-16 MMA, 12-9 UFC) was billed as a fight between former best friends turned bitter rivals, guaranteed to bring the heat. It ended up being a mostly one-sided affair between the former best friends and American Top Team teammates-turned enemies. As the fight came to an end with Covington in mount, they had to remain separated by security.
Covington set the tone right from the start once he got Masvidal down to the mat in the first round. Covington consistently threatened with chokes and small hammerfists, but the damage never was heavy. Still, it sent a message about what Masvidal was in for.
Round 2 was much closer, however, with Masvidal landing hard leg kicks. Masvidal clipped Covington with a hard elbow at one point. The fight was briefly stopped because of a low blow by Covington, but Masvidal came out of it strong, landing some of his best striking in the fight.
Round 3 was all Covington, who mauled Masvidal for almost all five minutes. But Round 4 is where things got interesting for a moment after Masvidal landed a hard count-right hook that dropped Covington to one knee late in the round. Masvidal, however, couldn’t pounce for a finish because of fatigue, which allowed Covington to recover.
In Round 5, Colby quickly closed the distance, got the fight to the mat and finished strong to secure a lopsided decision win.
“I was offbeat with the wrestling. I needed to wrestle harder,” Masvidal told Joe Rogan afterward. “… My wrestling wasn’t there today. I was flat.”
With his octagon mic time, Covington shifted his attention to another former ATT teammate in Dustin Poirier, with whom he’s also feuded in recent months.
“I just took care of Miami street trash. Now it’s time to take care of Louisiana swamp trash,” Covington said.
Up-to-the-minute UFC 272 results include:
Colby Covington vs. Jorge Masvidal
Rafael dos Anjos def. Renato Moicano via unanimous decision (49-45, 49-44, 50-44)
Bryce Mitchell def. Edson Barboza via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-26, 30-27)
Kevin Holland def. Alex Oliveira via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 0:38
Serghei Spivac def. Greg Hardy via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 2:16
Jalin Turner def. Jamie Mullarkey via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 0:46
Marina Rodriguez def. Yan Xiaonan via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Nicolae Negumereanu def. Kennedy Nzechukwu via split decision (29-27, 27-29, 29-27)
Maryna Moroz def. Mariya Agapova via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 2, 3:27
Umar Nurmagomedov def. Brian Kelleher via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 3:15
Tim Elliott def. Tagir Ulanbekov via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Ludovit Klein def. Devonte Smith via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)
Dustin Jacoby def. Michal Oleksiejczuk via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)