On Saturday night, Colby Covington faced former buddy and bitter adversary Jorge Masvidal. He relied on his wrestling to pile on the punishment round after round to achieve a landslide decision victory after five rounds. He was awarded a unanimous decision by the judges, who scored the fight 50-44, 50-45, and 49-46 in his favor.
Covington was more than eager to put Masvidal behind him and move on to another ex-teammate who he intends to face next. He had to eliminate Masvidal first before calling out Poirier for a future fight, which he did convincingly.
The approach wasn’t showy, but it worked. Covington was forced to surge forward, look for a takedown, and then force Masvidal to scratch and claw his way off the mat. He was draped on Masvidal for the duration of the fight after pulling him to the ground. He barely gave his opponent a chance to break away.
While Masvidal was defending early on, Covington remained on top of him. He applied pressure while advancing his position and throwing punches. As he looked for takedowns against the cage, it was clear that Covington was primarily using his hitting to build up his wrestling.
Masvidal was finding Covington with his punches in the times when he had room to work. Including one that caused a cut over the eye. Covington was continually advancing and trying to drive Masvidal against the fence. Thus the time spent at a distance was short.
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When Covington rushed forward, Masvidal did his hardest to strike blows. But the aggression was practically inescapable. Covington snatched the takedown time and time again. And that’s when he started to do real damage, especially when he was able to slam his former teammate with elbows.
Covington appeared to be edging closer to a blowout victory with each passing minute. But Masvidal refused to go away. Midway through the fourth round. Masvidal struck Covington with a strong right hand, knocking the former interim champion to the canvas.
Masvidal attempted to move ahead with Covington on the defensive. But he was unable to create enough attacks to end the fight. Covington had no intention of giving Masvidal an inch for the rest of the fight, but that was the one time where Masvidal could have pulled off the upset.
Covington spent the final round hanging on Masvidal. He did for the duration of the fight, as he proceeded to pound him as he won the grudge match. Masvidal stated that his grappling failed him against the former All-American wrestler from Oregon State following a tough loss.
The victory puts an end to a long-running spat between Covington and Masvidal. It began when they were both training at American Top Team in Florida. Obviously, Masvidal’s loss will sting for a long time. Covington is eager to move on to another grudge bout with Poirier. He has already hinted at a possible move to welterweight. He said,
“I just took care of Miami street trash, now it’s time to take care of Louisiana swamp trash,” Covington said, “Where you at Dustin Poirier, you cuck. You said it’s on-site. Name the site, Dustin. Bring that jezebel of a wife and bring that little kid and I’ll see you soon. You’re next.”
It’s unclear whether the UFC will book that fight, but Covington has made it obvious that he wants to fight Poirier next while still pursuing his goal of becoming welterweight champion.