The long-awaited grudge match between Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal finally takes place at UFC 272. Masvidal’s only losses in the past 5 years have come to Kamaru Usman while Colby Covington’s only losses in the past 7 years have come to Usman. The majority of the Verdict Community is predicting Covington to defeat Masvidal by decision at 54%. Surprisingly, the prediction for KO/TKO is almost even with 18% predicting Masvidal to win by knockout and 17% predicting Covington to win by knockout. If the fight goes past the 3rd round, only 7% predict Masvidal to win whereas 61% predict Covington to win. When they were teammates, Masvidal himself used to refer to Covington as the “Cardio King”.
Rafael dos Anjos was originally supposed to fight Rafael Fiziev in the main event of the UFC Fight Night card on February 19th. The fight was called off after Fiziev was forced to withdraw because of visa issues. The UFC rescheduled this fight for the co-main event of UFC 272 and kept it as a 5 round fight. Fiziev had to withdraw once again, but this time because of a battle with COVID. On just 5 days notice, Renato Moicano has stepped in to fight dos Anjos in a 5 round fight. Whereas only 32% of the Verdict Community was predicting RDA to defeat Fiziev, 74% are now predicting RDA to defeat Moicano. This is a big test for Moicano who’s never competed past the 3rd round in his 11-year professional career, whereas RDA has trained for and competed in 5 round fights for the past 8 years.
The Verdict Community is literally split in half on who they think is going to win this fight. Any time you see numbers this close, you’ve got to applaud the matchmakers. Bryce Mitchell is undefeated at 14-0 and will face the biggest test of his career against Edson Barboza. If you’re able to defeat Edson Barboza, you’re the real deal. Bryce Mitchell will immediately catapult himself if he’s able to accomplish this.
After spending his entire UFC career competing in the Middleweight division, Kevin Holland is making his Welterweight debut against Alex Oliveira. In 2020, Holland was in contention for fighter of the year after winning 5 consecutive fights in that year. It seemed as if Holland would become a contender in the Middleweight division. His 2021 went much different than the year prior as he lost consecutive fights to Derek Brunson and Marvin Vettori then had a no-contest against Kyle Daukaus. Holland is looking for a fresh start as he moves down to 170. Whereas Brunson and Vettori outwrestled Holland, Alex Oliveira will certainly bring the fight to Holland as he often does. Though he hasn’t won a fight since defeating Jacare Souza in December of 2020, 87% of the Verdict Community is predicting Holland to defeat Alex Oliveira.
This could be a must-win situation for Greg Hardy who’s coming off back to back knockout losses to Tai Tuivasa and Marcin Tybura. Earlier this week, Hardy told the media that he weighed 295 lbs and had a big weight cut ahead of him. Hardy would go on to make weight a the Heavyweight limit of 266 lbs. Spivak himself is coming off of a knockout loss to rising prospect Tom Aspinall. This fight will kick off the main card of UFC 272.
The featured prelim features a fight between two fighters that earned performance of the night honors in their last fight. Jalin Turner has finished his last 3 consecutive fights while Turner is coming off back to back knockout wins. Like Barboza vs. Mitchell, the Verdict Community is torn on this fight as it’s at a 50/50 split right now.
In 2021, Marina Rodriguez proved that she’s one of the best fighters in her division. She took out 3 of the biggest stars in the division by defeating Amanda Ribas, Michelle Waterson, and Mackenzie Dern in back to back to back fights. If Rodriguez defeats Xiaonan at UFC 272, expect her to either fight for the Strawweight title or welcome Joanna Jędrzejczyk back to the Octagon.