- Date & Location: Saturday, March 5 @ T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada
- Time: Early Prelims (6 p.m. ET), Prelims (8 p.m. ET), Main Card (10 p.m. ET)
- How to Watch: Early Prelims (UFC Fight Pass, ESPN+), Prelims (ESPN, ESPN+). Main Card (ESPN + pay-per-view)
The third UFC pay-per-view event of 2022 takes place on Saturday, March 5. After stops in Anaheim for UFC 270 and Houston for UFC 271, the promotion is back in its hometown of Las Vegas for UFC 272, which takes place at T-Mobile Arena. In the main event, former friends, training partners and roommates, Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington face off in a fight that has become increasingly personal since it was first announced.
Covington is the No. 1 ranked fighter in the official UFC welterweight rankings. Masvidal is ranked No. 6 in the weight class. Covington is coming off a November 2021 decision loss to welterweight champion Kamaru Usman. He is 1-2 in his past three fights, with both of those defeats coming to Usman. Before his first loss to the champion, Covington was on a seven-fight winning streak. Masvidal is 0-2 in his past two trips to the octagon. Like his UFC 272 opponent, both Masvidal’s defeats came in title fights against Usman. The champ defeated Masvidal by decision in July 2020 and knocked him out in April 2021. Prior to his two-fight losing skid, Masvidal had won three straight.
UFC 272 Main Event odds
|To Win UFC 272 Main Event|
Covington vs. Masvidal prediction and pick
The striking statistics on Covington and Masvidal look almost even. Covington averages 4.14 landed significant strikes per minute, while Masvidal lands at 4.22 significant strikes per minute. Don’t be misled by those numbers. The difference between these two fighters comes when you consider takedowns, control time, and total strikes.
Covington averages 4.10 takedowns per 15 minutes on a takedown success rate of 46 percent. He is relentless in pursuing takedowns. In his latest loss to Usman, Covington shot 11 times without success. In his win over Robbie Lawler, Covington went 10 for 18 in takedowns. He is tied for second in UFC welterweight history with 61 successful takedowns and he is sixth all-time in the division in control time. What makes Covington’s control time effective and allows him to score points is his cardio and the fact that he never stops throwing short strikes while is working on his opponent on the mat. In his win over Woodley, Covington landed 78 of 143 significant strikes, but 232 of 311 total strikes. When Covington is landing short strikes from the ground, he keeps his opponent from doing much of anything other than defending against those blows.
Masvidal needs to keep the fight on the feet for as much of the bout as he can. Masvidal has improved his takedown defense over the past few years, but he can still be gotten to, for example, Usman went 5-for-16 in takedowns against Masvidal in their first meeting. The longer Masvidal stays off the mat, the better his chances are to win this fight. However, I think that too tall of an order.
Pick: Covington to beat Masvidal
Who has the edge?
I would warn anyone who thinks emotion will play a game in this fight to steer clear of allowing that thinking to influence betting picks. Both these men have been involved in “grudge matches” before and both were able to stick to their game plans and fight without getting too emotionally invested in the matchup. The pre-fight trash talk and bravado might sell tickets to this bout and increase awareness and hype, but it won’t influence how the fight plays out. These two are smart enough and professional enough not to allow that to influence them.
With that out of the way, the overall edge in this bout has to go to Covington, he has the wrestling, volume striking, cardio and defensive skills to take the best fighters in the division into deep water. If Kamaru Usman was not in the UFC’s welterweight division at this moment, Covington would be champion.
With that being said, Masvidal has the equalizer in this matchup and that is his power and boxing. The days of Masvidal fighting to split decisions are in the past. He flipped a switch in early 2019 and since then he has become a much more devastating striker.
Prediction: Covington to beat Masvidal via decision
Betting value with Covington
Covington is a fairly large favorite in this matchup and I think he deserves those odds because of his overwhelming style. One thing to note, Covington only has two knockout wins (via strikes) in his UFC career and the most recent of those took place in 2016. With that, I think this fight goes the distance and so the value is in the length of the fight.
Prediction: Over 3.5 rounds.
What’s at stake?
With both of these men coming off two recent title fight losses, a third shot at the champ is not likely with a win here. This fight is mostly about bragging rights and holding on to a high ranking in the division.
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