Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington finally set to square off in headline bout at UFC 272

Former teammates and roommates to top card at T-Mobile Arena in March

Jul 6, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jorge Masvidal (red gloves) stands with his hands behind his back before his fight against Ben Askren (blue gloves) at T-Mobile Arena. Jorge Masvidal set a new record for the fastest knockout in UFC history with five seconds. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The long-standing grudge match between Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington looks set to finally materialise, with the bout scheduled to headline UFC 272 in March.

ESPN first announced the news early on Wednesday, citing UFC chief business officer Hunter Campbell in confirming the welterweight clash for the March 5 card at T-Mobile Arena. ESPN reported, though, that contracts have yet to be signed.

A bantamweight title rematch between undisputed champion Aljamain Sterling and interim belt-holder Petr Yan was previously to headline UFC 272, but that fight will be moved to UFC 273 in April. The featherweight crown will also be up for grabs on April 9, with champion Alexander Volkanovski defending his belt against “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung. Volkanovski was originally to meet Max Holloway in a much-anticipated trilogy bout, but Holloway withdrew through injury.

Masvidal and Covington have a long history both inside and outside the octagon having trained together at American Top Team in Florida. At one point, they were also roommates. However, the pair fell out in 2018, with Covington eventually leaving the gym, and have since been involved in an ongoing public spat.

Colby Covington punches Kamaru Usman in their welterweight title bout during UFC 268 in November, 2021 in New York City. AFP

Masvidal, whose professional record reads 35-15, remains one of the sport’s most popular fighters despite most recently suffering back-to-back defeats to welterweight champion Kamaru Usman. The first took place at UFC 251 in July 2020 during the inaugural Fight Island series in Abu Dhabi, with Masvidal losing a unanimous decision after accepting the fight on six days’ notice. In the rematch in Florida last April, Usman knocked out Masvidal in emphatic fashion in the second round.

Covington, meanwhile, has also lost his most recent bout to Usman, when he was defeated by unanimous decision in their rematch at UFC 268 in November. The American lost the initial encounter, in 2019, by fifth round TKO. Covington's pro record stands at 16-3. He is ranked the division’s No 1 contender, while Masvidal sits at No 6.

Updated: January 12th 2022, 6:24 AM