If Colby Covington is in a voice to fetch by Tyron Woodley in Saturday’s UFC Wrestle Night predominant tournament, he’ll be calling for every other shot on the welterweight title. But would he deserve it?
Kamaru Usman defended his title by stopping Covington — who argued the fight have not got been stopped — within the fifth spherical of their Dec. 14 bout. UFC president Dana White became once impressed by the challenger, but he’ll fill assorted names to maintain in thoughts, at the side of Leon Edwards and the winner of the proposed Nate Diaz–Jorge Masvidal rematch. The UFC ranks Covington as the No. 2 challenger leisurely Gilbert Burns, who fights Usman later this year, so Covington indubitably might maybe maybe be within the dialog.
But Woodley can end that dialogue with a get, which would snap a two-fight dropping trot. And he has gotten some reduction in fresh weeks from a person very familiar alongside with his opponent. Masvidal, who once educated and lived with Covington, helped Woodley put together for Saturday’s fight. Will that be an element?
The co-predominant tournament mustn’t lack fireworks, with Donald Cerrone going through Niko Value. Each men are aggressive strikers and are searching to come to the get column, severely Cerrone, who has lost four straight. Cerrone is 37 with a ton of mileage on his body, and he is admitted retirement would now not seem as a long way away as it outmoded to. How will Saturday’s fight impression that?
Khamzat Chimaev, on the a variety of hand, is correct getting started. He made historic previous in July by winning twice within the Octagon in an 11-day span. These fill been the 26-year-primitive’s first two UFC fights, and he dominated in every of them. So spectacular became once Chimaev that White now not handiest booked him for Saturday in opposition to Gerald Meerschaert but again in November in opposition to Demian Maia.
Discuss like a flash observe. But will that result in a title shot for Chimaev within the cease to future?
ESPN’s MMA experts Ariel Helwani, Brett Okamoto, Marc Raimondi and Jeff Wagenheim pick a perceive at these topics and address what’s right or now not.
Real or now not: If Colby Covington wins, he’ll fetch every other title shot subsequent
Helwani: It’s miles dependent, but I salvage it be unlikely.
So, let’s creep in expose here: As an example Covington defeats Woodley. In expose to be in consideration, Covington has to beat Woodley impressively and presumably enact him.
OK, as an example he does that. Then as an example Kamaru Usman beats Gilbert Burns. I will also disclose that will tremendously decrease the potentialities of Covington getting the subsequent title shot. I right don’t think there might maybe be a marketplace for a rematch so soon. So, that is likely to be that.
But as an example Burns wins. Would Usman fetch an on the spot rematch? Unless it be a controversial loss, I will also disclose no.
But then there is the Jorge Masvidal-Nathan Diaz winner, and/or Leon Edwards, and who is aware of who else emerges between once in a while. Would Covington fetch a shot over those guys? I really fill a anxious time envisioning that going down.
Clearly, crazier things fill and can also merely happen (injuries, timelines, contract negotiations, etc.), but my general feeling is now not any topic how he wins, if he wins, Covington would want to get now not less than one extra fight to fetch every other title shot.
Real or now not: Training with Jorge Masvidal will give Tyron Woodley an edge
Raimondi: Fully right. Now, that is to now not claim that it ability Woodley wants to be appreciated over Covington, or the leisure esteem that. But yes, Woodley practising with Masvidal — who became once Covington’s finest buddy and chief practising accomplice for years — will utterly reduction Woodley on Saturday.
Tyron Woodley discusses practising with Jorge Masvidal again and how Masvidal motivated him to obvious up “toxic” things in his life.
Woodley and Covington fill educated together forward of, but that became once years ago — forward of Covington became once even within the UFC. Any info gained then likely can also now not come into play great six years later. But Masvidal? He became once practising with Covington on a conventional basis up unless 2018. That’s now not too ability support. It’s shiny to claim Masvidal is aware of Covington about as well to anybody. They lived together. There are presumably things Masvidal is aware of about Covington (and vice versa) that no one else does. If the opportunity fill been there for Woodley to come to a decision Masvidal’s brain, needless to voice he needed to come to a decision it. And it will give Woodley an additional something that maybe he did now not fill coming into the fight in the beginning.
I did consult with Covington final week about Masvidal going to St. Louis to be a part of Woodley’s camp. Covington brushed it off, asserting the handiest thing Masvidal might maybe maybe order Woodley became once the vogue to lose to Covington — on myth of that is all Masvidal ever did in observe, Covington said. Even when that fill been right, Masvidal has the likelihood to present Woodley now not less than some make of intel he attach now not need veritably had.
In a matchup of two of the right welterweights on this planet, with Woodley, the extinct UFC champ, searching to snap a two-fight dropping trot, every tiny bit helps. It’d be anxious to argue that having Masvidal as a sounding board on the gymnasium wouldn’t reduction Woodley in some ability. It’s indubitably an edge that Woodley attach now not need had in any other case.
Real or now not: 2021 shall be Donald Cerrone’s final year combating within the UFC
Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone lands a tidy kick to the prime of Anthony “Showtime” Pettis within the third spherical.
Okamoto: I’m going with “now not right” on this one … but we are going to also decrease it cease. I fabricate salvage if it be now not 2021, the last time we peep Cerrone is 2022. He admitted to me, in an interview earlier this year, that he can peep “the prime of the tunnel” and that he likely has handiest a “couple years [left], and that is the reason pushing it.” Smartly, what’s one thing all of us in discovering out about Cowboy Cerrone? He is a man who’s gonna push it. He goes to push that line. He’ll, presumably, stick spherical longer than many salvage he must. That’s how he has operated his entire occupation. He has taken the like a flash turnaround fights, even when his management educated him most likely he must sit down and look forward to a higher fight. That’s Cowboy. That’s why fans love him. He is lost four in a row, but if you happen to perceive at it, he is lost to Tony Ferguson, Justin Gaethje, Conor McGregor and Anthony Pettis. Now not esteem he is getting walked over by lesser talent. And a variety of parents belief he gained his final fight in opposition to Pettis. Backside line, I salvage Cowboy will fight previous 2021, but now not by great.
Real or now not: Khamzat Chimaev will fill fought for the belt or fill a title shot booked by this time subsequent year
Khamzat Chimaev’s TKO victory over Rhys McKee marks his 2d get in two assorted weight classes within the span of 11 days.
Wagenheim: Whoa, possess your horses. The person has been within the UFC for all of two months. Yeah, this coming weekend Chimaev will fabricate his third look internal the Octagon, so at his swift spin he can also want a dozen UFC fights below his belt by this time subsequent year. And it wouldn’t pick him that many victories to land a title shot, severely with the Chechnya-born Swede fleet having established himself as a Dana White celebrated. That matters. The UFC president will feed Chimaev a ample opportunity the key likelihood he gets.
But Chimaev has a techniques to creep forward of he’ll be staring across the cage at 170-pound king Kamaru Usman. His opponent for subsequent Saturday, Gerald Meerschaert, is a step up in opponents, despite having lost four of his previous six fights. And if Chimaev passes that take a look at, he’ll really step up subsequent time. White has already let or now not it be known that if Chimaev wins subsequent weekend, he might maybe maybe be booked in opposition to jiu-jitsu grasp Demian Maia. Correct luck with that, Khamzat. The UFC clearly has plans for Chimaev, but the promotion had plans for Edmen Shahbazyan and Sean O’Malley, too, and each hit dose-of-actuality roadblocks in their most up-to-date fights. So I’m now not projecting a title shot for Chimaev unless I peep him defeat any individual who resides somewhere within the high-altitude land of contenders.