Rating the 4 Most efficient Opponents for Colby Covington’s Next Battle
Colby CovingtonMike Roach/Getty Photography
It be been legitimate for a transient while now. If Colby Covington shouldn’t be always your address for the greatest heel on the UFC roster, you are either overthinking or underthinking, though greatest the worn seems fully life like. That’s what being a no brainer is all about, and when it involves UFC heels, Covington is the greatest no-brainer we own viewed in rather a while.
How will we know? It be not the boos or even the cheers for his properly-documented and oft-bigoted public persona. It be not the final public criticism or the social media followings. It be the selection of top opponents who want to fight him—or not lower than entertain matchmaking tips they’d most incessantly ignore or push apart out of hand.
The most most fresh top guy to name him out? Belal Muhammad, after his decisioning final Saturday of Vicente Luque, modified into as soon as willing to name Covington’s title as rapidly as the man with the microphone gave him his opening.
“I will live calling for the champ ‘motive no one needs to provide me that shot,” Muhammad suggested broadcaster Daniel Cormier after the fight. “So let me gain the massive mouth Karen, Colby Covington. He is out here calling out 155ers. Come fight a precise 170-pounder, you coward.”
Nonetheless what relating to the others? Here we own ranked Covington’s greatest callouts—given and got—to switch trying for what’s life like and where we would be presumably to switch trying for some fireworks.
4. Belal Muhammad
Welcome to the pause five, Belal Muhammad. Neither perceive accidents nor plodding choices nor Luque could possibly well withhold Muhammad from reaching bona fide contender region at welterweight.
After Saturday’s address, which avenged a loss support in 2016, Muhammad gave the distinct influence he had Covington’s title chambered and willing properly sooner than his plane ever left for Las Vegas.
Muhammad is now unbeaten in eight straight, and he fought a clean fight Saturday, hitting impeccably timed takedowns and flashing nifty footwork over prolonged stretches of the fight. His stress sport would accomplish for an iron-on-iron matchup with Covington, the infamous stress-fighter with the bottomless gasoline tank.
I would search for the heck out of this fight. Nonetheless even supposing Muhammad’s nickname is “Be conscious the Name,” he can even simply not own the brand recognition (or the attention-grabbing-high-octane fight vogue) of the opposite gigantic hitters on the Covington radar.
3. Dustin Poirier
Here’s the one Covington needs.
“I simply took care of Miami avenue trash; now it be time to address Louisiana swamp trash,” Covington acknowledged final month after defeating Jorge Masvidal at UFC 272. “Where you at Dustin Poirier? … Name the positioning.”
Poirier has hundreds of vitality at gentle-weight, and he’s more educated than Covington on the feet.
Takedowns, though, now those can even simply gain Poirier in anguish. He would not be ready to withhold the elevated Covington off him for three rounds, let on my own five.
Covington is aware of fat properly that he’s a mismatch for Poirier. Excessive-profile opponent, winnable fight, thrilling matchup interior and outside of the cage, bankable payday, no downside.
Successfully, there can even simply be a downside. While Poirier is in theory as sport as always (and not one to flip up his nose at the prospect of a juicy paycheck), he and UFC Prez Dana White appear to prefer a diverse route for Covington, one which would not absorb the company’s greatest heel mauling its greatest babyface.
2. Israel Adesanya
But another one where a weight shuttling would be wanted, however it’ll not be enough to derail a collision between arguably the game’s two greatest non-Conor McGregor stars.
Israel AdesanyaAndy Brownbill/Connected Press
“Why cannot I fight Adesanya?” Covington questioned final month on Submission Radio (h/t MMA Combating). “He cannot live my wrestling. I may address him up and tumble him on his f–king head. He is a cardio kickboxer. They got enough cardio kickboxers in girls’s lessons across the U.S. I could possibly well shuffle be half of one in all those as properly, however I distinct to address up exhausting grueling American wrestling. I don’t think Adesanya could possibly well live my American wrestling, and I don’t think he’s that true a fighter.”
Egged on by muse and broadcaster Chael Sonnen, Covington has equipped to meet the middleweight champ up at 185 kilos. Adesanya has indicated Covington must fight not lower than as soon as at middleweight sooner than getting a title shot, though Covington appears to be like to explore it as more of a one-off. So, stalemate. For now, anyway. As prolonged as Adesanya has challenges at middleweight—while you’re thinking that Jared Cannonier a inform—he received’t must give Covington a 2nd search for.
Matchup-luminous, the preliminary knee-jerk here would be to slap the striker-grappler stamp on this and proceed without additional observation.
Nonetheless Adesanya’s takedown protection is terribly underrated, and if opponents can gain him down, they cannot repeatedly withhold him down. Covington would be provocative up a weight class, so he wouldn’t own the identical size profit he’d own over Poirier at 155. Plus Adesanya has confronted true wrestlers and stress opponents sooner than, from Derek Brunson to Marvin Vettori to Kelvin Gastelum.
1. Khamzat Chimaev
This not greatest would be primarily the most bizarre clash of heels in most fresh memory, however it be also on the paper checklist of the one real fights the UFC can accomplish for the 2nd half of of 2022.
Chimaev is an unbelievably gifted, electric, ridiculously charismatic fighter. He also has a shut relationship with Ramzan Kadyrov, the warlord head of a Chechen authorities trusty to Vladimir Putin. Generally folks retract their sports actions villains primarily based on what happens off the having fun with floor. Within that community of folks, there are completely more than a couple of who explore Chimaev as a heel no subject his brilliance.
But another attention-grabbing ingredient to show mask: Chimaev’s mentor, retired gentle-weight GOAT Khabib Nurmagomedov, has known as on opponents to boycott Covington. It be unclear how seriously Chimaev would be anticipated to address that, however it be composed an ingredient within the recipe.
No longer to throw water on my respect parade, however this can even simply not be a life like matchup, especially if Covington is more in warmth and money than aggressive glory (and he would not be the considerable). If he can reel in a gigantic payday with somebody address Poirier, there could be not any motive Covington would shuffle anyplace shut to Chimaev. Nonetheless if folks can withhold Covington’s eyes on welterweight and the money and conditions had been correct, this would be on the spot, must-search for television for any wrestle sports actions (or any sports actions) fan.