The Ultimate Fighting Championship has been forced to call an
audible for its March 5 pay-per-view event.
UFC chief business officer Hunter Campbell confirmed to promotion
ESPN that a five-round non-title bout between Colby
Covington and Jorge
Masvidal will headline
UFC 272 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The card was originally
supposed to feature two title bouts — Alexander
Volkanovski vs Max
Holloway and Aljamain
Sterling vs. Petr Yan — but
Holloway withdrew from the featherweight title trilogy and the
Sterling-Yan bantamweight championship rematch was postponed.
Covington and Masvidal have history as former American Top Team
training partners, but what was once a friendship has devolved into
a bitter rivalry in recent years. Covington has since relocated to
MMA Masters, while Masvidal remains at ATT.
Covington last appeared at UFC 268, where he dropped a competitive
five-round verdict to Kamaru
Usman in a welterweight title bout on Nov. 6. It was
Covington’s second defeat to Usman in a championship fight, as he
also fell to the “Nigerian Nightmare” at UFC 245 in December 2019.
Overall, Covington is 11-3 in the Octagon with victories over
Maia, Rafael dos
Lawler and Tyron
Woodley to his credit.
Masvidal, meanwhile, was supposed to face Leon
Edwards at UFC 269 in December but was forced to withdraw from
the bout due to injury. Prior to that, “Gamebred” came up short
against Usman in title fights at UFC 251 via decision and at UFC
261 via second-round KO.