Stars predict UFC 272 clash between Covington and Masvidal

Kamaru Usman claims Jorge Masvidal ‘has the tools to steal the fight away’ from Colby Covington, but Gilbert Burns and Chael Sonnen tip ‘Chaos’ to win… MMA stars predict UFC 272 headliner between fierce rivals

  • UFC 272 is headlined by Colby Covington and his fierce rival Jorge Masvidal
  • They were close friends and training partners so know each other very well
  • Three years have passed since they shared the mat and much has changed
  • UFC fighters past and present weighed in with their verdict on the main event 

Almost everyone watching Colby Covington vs Jorge Masvidal will be desperate for one of them to win. 

This is not a shrug-your-shoulders and enjoy it kind of fight and the protagonists – especially Covington – are marmite fighters: you love them or hate them. 

Masvidal has enjoyed an Indian summer to his career with big wins over the likes of Ben Askren and Nate Diaz but will his versatile striking game be able to keep off Covington’s relentless pressure and wrestling ability? 

Colby Covington (left) and Jorge Masvidal will fight in the main event of UFC 272 

Kamaru Usman has fought both men and beaten them twice each and he tips Masvidal 

Some of the biggest names in MMA have had their say, predicting which welterweight will have their hand raised at the end of the night on Saturday. 

One fighter who knows very well what it is like to share an octagon with these fighters is Kamaru Usman. 

The pound-for-pound No 1 has seen them both off twice so is the best-placed person to give his verdict on the bout.   

Usman told ESPN: ‘I think [Masvidal] could potentially win the fight because one thing about him is he’s one of the only guys who in his stance, he’s so tall in his stance – but he’s able to defend takedowns from some of the best wrestlers.

‘He’s very, very good at striking – so relaxed – and is so fast and he’s able to touch you. He might not feel as hard, but he can touch that button to be able to shut the lights off.

‘I mean, being able to run across the octagon in five seconds, land a knee like that (against Ben Askren) just shows a different level of athleticism.

‘He’s a skilled fighter, and he definitely has the tools to be able to land that shot to steal this fight away from Covington.’

And light-heavyweight Anthony Smith agrees, telling MMA Crazy: ‘Colby has taken so much damage recently because of the way he fights, and I would expect him to take the same approach as Kamaru Usman did against Masvidal.

‘Those two trained together for a long time – they know each other’s secrets. The mental edge goes to Masvidal, he’s more of a G, I think Masvidal finishes him.’

But fellow welterweight Gilbert Burns sided with Covington, saying: ‘I think that is going to be a freaking drama show.

‘I do believe Colby Covington wins with his pace and wrestling.’

Even though the bookmakers are tipping Covington to win, putting him as a 1/3 favourite, a number of fighters opted for the big-fight pedigree of Masvidal. 

Gilbert Burns is tipping the wrestling of Covington to win the day in Las Vegas 

Michael Chiesa said: ‘That’s a tough fight for both guys. 

‘Jorge Masvidal has shown what he’s capable of – what he does against Usman on short notice was so impressive.

‘Colby brings a lot of different things to the table, he’s got a lot of volume and strikes from range.

‘I wouldn’t be surprised if Colby got the better of Masvidal in training sessions, but I think Masvidal is a gametime fighter and that’s a huge x factor – I’m going with Masvidal.’  

But Jack Hermansson added: ‘I really love Masvidal, but Colby Covington is special – he has insane pace and wrestling.

‘I believe Covington takes that one.’ 

British star Lerone Murphy struggled to decide but eventually landed on Masvidal: ‘I’m going Colby. It’s a tough one, Masvidal took that Usman fight on six days notice – actually, I’m going Masvidal.’

Retired two-weight champion Henry Cejudo told Helen Yee Sports: ‘I’m going with Jorge but if he’s not working his wrestling, different transitions to get out from underneath, he’ll be in for a bad night. 

Lerone Murphy thinks Masvidal will win but was not confident in his selection 

Henry Cejudo (left) is wary of Covington’s endurance and wrestling but picked Masvidal 

‘Covington is an all-American wrestler. Masvidal is going to have to go for broke. When Colby stays on the leg he is like a dog with a bone. 

And it is too close to call for Sean O’Malley, who added: ‘Jorge has more power in his shots, you don’t really see him gas out, Colby has an insane gas tank. 

‘It is a coin flip to me, I have no idea how it will play out. The bad blood makes it more interesting.’

Chael Sonnen deliberated for some time but eventually came down on the side of Covington, but thinks it will be a long night’s work.  

‘This is as close to a true super-fight as you can possibly bring us, ‘ he told his YouTube channel. 

‘There’s no part of me telling you this is going to be easy. But I’m giving you a prediction and I predict at the end of the night, the victor is going to be Colby Covington.’

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