Jorge Masvidal vs Colby Covington set to headline UFC 272 in long-awaited grudge match

Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington are set to headline UFC 272 on 5 March, the promotion’s chief business officer Hunter Campbell has told ESPN.

Fans have long wished to see friends-turned-rivals Masvidal and Covington go head-to-head in the Octagon, and the bout is on the verge of being finalised, according to Campbell.

UFC pay-per-views are typically headlined by title fights, with this welterweight contest therefore somewhat of a rarity.

Americans Masvidal (35-15) and Covington (16-3) both enter the bout on the back of losses to champion Kamaru Usman, who knocked out Masvidal in April, before outpointing Covington in November.

In Masvidal’s previous outing, in July 2020, he lost to Usman via decision in a short-notice contest. Covington has also lost to the champion twice, suffering a stoppage defeat by the Nigerian-American in December 2019.

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Masvidal was scheduled to face welterweight contender Leon Edwards in December but withdrew from that fight due to injury, with Edwards now expected to challenge for the title next time out.

In a text to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto on Tuesday, Covington reportedly said of Masvidal: “He better f*****g show up.”

UFC 272 was originally set to feature two title fights, both of which have reportedly been delayed until UFC 273 in April. Aljamain Sterling looks set to defend his bantamweight title against interim champion Petr Yan in a rematch, while Alexander Volkanovski’s featherweight title defence against Max Holloway has fallen through due to an injury to the challenger, though Chan Sung Jung is expected to step in.

Volkanovski took the title from Holloway in December 2019 before outpointing the Hawaiian again in July 2020 to retain the belt. A trilogy bout between the rivals has long been anticipated by fans, many of whom disagreed with the judges’ scorecards in the second fight.

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