If Colby Covington will get previous Tyron Woodley at Saturday’s UFC Struggle Evening important occasion, he’ll be calling for one more shot within the welterweight title. However would he deserve it?
Kamaru Usman defended his title by stopping Covington – who argued the bout shouldn’t have been stopped – within the fifth spherical of their bout on December 14th. UFC President Dana White was impressed with the challenger, however he should contemplate different names together with Leon Edwards and the winner of Nate Diaz-Jorge Masvidal’s scheduled rematch. The UFC charges Covington because the # 2 challenger behind Gilbert Burns, who faces Usman later that yr, so Covington would undoubtedly be on the desk.
However Woodley can finish this dialogue with a win that will imply defeat in two fights. And prior to now few weeks he has had assist from an individual who could be very accustomed to his opponent. Masvidal, who as soon as skilled and lived with Covington, helped Woodley practice for Saturday’s battle. Will that be an element?
The co-main occasion should not lack fireworks, as a result of Donald Cerrone faces Niko Worth. Each males are aggressive strikers and wish to return to the Victory Column, particularly Cerrone who has misplaced 4 occasions in a row. Cerrone is 37 years outdated and has tons of kilometers on his physique. Granted, retirement would not appear as far-off because it was. How will the battle on Saturday have an effect on that?
Khamzat Chimaev, however, is simply getting began. He made historical past in July by profitable the Octagon twice in 11 days. These have been the 26-year-old’s first two UFC fights, which he dominated in each. Chimaev was so spectacular that White booked him not just for Saturday towards Gerald Meerschaert, but additionally towards Demian Maia in November.
Discuss Quick Observe. However will that end in a title shot for Chimaev within the close to future?
ESPN’s MMA specialists Ariel Helwani, Brett Okamoto, Marc Raimondi and Jeff Wagenheim check out these points and speak about what’s actual and what’s not.
Actual or not, if Colby Covington wins, he’ll get one other title shot subsequent
Helwani: It relies upon, however I feel it is unlikely.
So let’s go all proper right here: as an example Covington defeats Woodley. To be thought-about, Covington has to impressively beat Woodley and certain end him off.
OK, as an example he does it. Then as an example Kamaru Usman beats Gilbert Burns. I might say that can considerably cut back the possibilities of Covington taking the subsequent title shot. I simply do not assume there is a marketplace for a rematch anytime quickly. So that will be it.
However as an example Burns wins. Would Usman get an on the spot rematch? If it is not a controversial loss I might say no.
However then there’s the Jorge Masvidal-Nathan Diaz winner and / or Leon Edwards, and who is aware of who will present up by then. Would Covington get a shot over these guys? I discover it exhausting to think about.
In fact, crazier issues have and will occur (accidents, schedules, contract negotiations, and so forth) however my basic feeling is that no matter how he wins, if he wins, Covington must win not less than yet another battle to get one other title shot.
Actual or not, coaching with Jorge Masvidal provides Tyron Woodley a bonus
Raimondi: Completely actual. That is to not say Woodley needs to be most well-liked over Covington or something. However sure, Woodley’s coaching with Masvidal, who was Covington’s finest good friend and important coaching accomplice for years, will completely assist Woodley on Saturday.
Tyron Woodley once more discusses coaching with Jorge Masvidal and the way Masvidal motivated him to clear up “poisonous” issues in his life.
Woodley and Covington have skilled collectively earlier than, however that was years in the past – earlier than Covington was even within the UFC. The data then gained will most likely solely come into play six years later. However Masvidal? He skilled often with Covington till 2018. That wasn’t too way back. It is honest to say that Masvidal is aware of Covington in addition to anybody. They lived collectively. There are most likely issues Masvidal is aware of about Covington (and vice versa) that nobody else does. In fact, if Woodley had the chance to look Masvidal’s mind, he must use it. And there needs to be one thing additional to Woodley that he may not initially have within the battle.
I spoke to Covington final week about Masvidal going to St. Louis to be a part of Woodley’s camp. Covington dusted it off, saying the one factor Masvidal may train Woodley is learn how to lose to Covington – as a result of that is all Masvidal has ever accomplished in observe, Covington mentioned. Even when that have been true, Masvidal has an opportunity to not less than give Woodley some sort of info that he usually would not have had.
Each little bit helps in a match between two of the very best world champions on the planet and Woodley, the previous UFC champion making an attempt to attain one defeat in two fights. It is exhausting to argue that having Masvidal as a soundboard within the health club would under no circumstances assist Woodley. It is undoubtedly a bonus that Woodley would not have in any other case.
Actual or not, Donald Cerrones will battle within the UFC final yr in 2021
Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone lands a clear kick towards Anthony “Showtime” Pettis within the third spherical.
Okamoto: I will go along with “not actual” on this one … however we may shut it. I feel if it is not 2021, the final time we’ll see Cerrone is in 2022. He admitted to me in an interview earlier this yr that he can see “the top of the tunnel” and that he most likely solely “sees a number of Years “has [left]and that urges it. “Effectively what can we find out about Cowboy Cerrone? He is the man who’s going to push it. He’ll push that line. He is almost certainly going to remain longer than many assume he ought to. He is bought his whole profession behind him. He has.” fought the fast turnaround fights even when his administration advised him to perhaps sit and look forward to a greater battle. That is cowboy. Because of this the followers love him. He has misplaced 4 in a row however whenever you have a look at it, he is misplaced to Tony Ferguson, Justin Gaethje, Conor McGregor and Anthony Pettis. Not like he is been run over by fewer expertise. And lots of people thought he received his final battle towards Pettis. Backside line: I feel Cowboy will battle nicely past 2021 , however not a lot.
Actual or not: Khamzat Chimaev could have fought for the belt or booked a title shot presently subsequent yr
Khamzat Chimaev’s TKO win over Rhys McKee marks his second win in two totally different weight courses in 11 days.
Wagenheim: Whoa, maintain your horses. The person has been with the UFC for 2 months. Sure, subsequent weekend Chimaev will carry out for the third time within the Octagon. At his quick tempo, he may have a dozen UFC fights round this time subsequent yr. And it would not take as many wins to land a title shot, particularly when the Chechnya-born Swede rapidly established himself as Dana White’s favourite. That counts. The UFC President will give Chimaev an enormous probability on the first probability.
However Chimaev nonetheless has some approach to go earlier than staring throughout the cage at 170-pound King Kamaru Usman. His opponent for subsequent Saturday, Gerald Meerschaert, is a aggressive benefit regardless of having misplaced 4 of his final six fights. And if Chimaev passes this check, he’ll Actually Enhance the subsequent time. White has already introduced that if Chimaev wins this weekend, he can be booked towards jiu-jitsu grasp Demian Maia. Good luck with that, Khamzat. The UFC clearly has plans for Chimaev, however the promotion additionally had plans for Edmen Shahbazyan and Sean O’Malley, and each have hit roadblocks of their current fights. So I am not projecting a title shot for Chimaev till I see him defeat somebody who lives someplace within the rivals’ highlands.