29-Year-Old UFC Welterweight 13-1-0
October 28, 2017 Colby Covington News
RotoWire Fantasy Analysis
Covington defeated Demian Maia via unanimous decision (29-27, 30-27, 30-26) at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
After the fight, Covington cut a vicious promo blasting the Brazilian fans. He then called for a title shot against UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley. He won this fight and he deserved to win this fight, but he needs to slow his roll. He was facing an opponent in Maia that was a walking corpse for the final two rounds. It was an easy, clear-cut victory for Covington but it was far from a stellar effort. The overall numbers look good. "Chaos" landed nearly as many total strikes (121) as Maia attempted (157). Covington threw an insane 351 total strikes. He also stuffed all 13 of Maia's takedown attempts, although that doesn't mean all that much given what we have seen of Maia lately. Covington is darn good and he might be a top-five welterweight, but he doesn't deserve a title shot yet.
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Fantasy AnalysisCovington is riding a four-fight winning streak, with his most recent victory a dominant effort against Dong Hyun Kim. He's executed an other-worldly total of 20 takedowns in his last two fights, but just may meet his match with Maia, a master of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Maia may have not been able to work his submission skills in his last fight, a title opportunity against Tyron Woodley, but he'll waste little time getting back on track. Covington's only career loss has been via a guillotine choke, but Maia will be by far the best grappler he's faced to date. Covington would be wise to utilize his defensive wrestling to keep the fight standing, as going to the ground with Maia is always a dangerous game. Given Maia's experience, and the fact that he'll have the Brazilian crowd behind him, look for Covington to enter as the betting underdog.
Fantasy AnalysisCovington called for a title shot after the win. That isn't going to happen, but he is an easy top ten welterweight at this point. The effectiveness of Covington's wrestling is scary. He now has landed 20 takedowns in his last two fights (eight on Saturday) and 31 takedowns in his last four fights. It might not always be pretty to watch, but Covington has shown an ability to grind his way to victory against almost anyone. Kim has solid takedown defense, but he had no answer for "Chaos" on Saturday. The 29-year-old Covington has an extremely high ceiling.
Fantasy AnalysisAfter Covington's last win over Bryan Barberena, he asked the UFC for a ranked opponent, and this matchup grants his wish. Covington's wrestling style may not be the most fan-friendly, but the American Top Team product has used it to earn a victory in six of his seven UFC fights. Kim sports a takedown defense of 80 percent in his UFC career, however, so Covington will need to utilize a well-rounded strategy if he hopes to earn a victory.
Fantasy AnalysisCovington is in a difficult position. He continues to win fights, most of them dominantly, but his style is far from pleasing to watch. He leans on his wrestling to grind out decisions, and while he rolled through Barberena with ease, he isn't earning many new fans. Covington was credited with 12 takedowns on Saturday and nearly two full rounds (9:06) worth of control time. He's so big and strong that it's going to be difficult for any welterweight to defend his takedown attempts. Now 6-1 in his first seven UFC bouts, it will be interesting to see if Covington tries to open up on the feet a bit more moving forward in hopes of raising his profile.
Fantasy AnalysisCovington will head into Sacramento with a record of 10-1 after defeating Max Griffin back at UFC 202. His opponent totes a record of 12-3, and is currently on a two-fight win streak after defeating Warlley Alves by unanimous decision at UFC 198.
Fantasy AnalysisGriffin is no good, but Covington couldn't have been any more impressive. He racked up six takedowns, 10 minutes worth of control time and landed 161 of 216 total strikes. You can see the improvements that Covington makes on a fight-by-fight basis under the tutelage of Mike Brown and the crew at American Top Team. Now 5-1 in his first six UFC fights, Joe Silva is going to have to give Covington a better opponent his next time out. At age-28, there is no sense is taking their time with him.
Fantasy AnalysisComing off his first loss of his professional career against Warlley Alves in December, Covington easily got back on track against the debuting Meunier. There are legitimate questions about Covington's game outside of his wrestling, but his takedown ability was all he needed on Saturday. He landed five of eight attempts, resulting in 9:15 of control time. A stunning number for a fight that lasted just over 14 minutes. He was facing an opponent who was completely and thoroughly overmatched, but Covington did what he had to do here and reminded everyone why he is one of the better young fighters in the welterweight division.
Fantasy AnalysisCovington, who is a terrific wrestler, landed an early takedown, but he left his neck exposed on the fence afterwards. The coaching staff at American Top Team certainly prepared Covington for the nasty guillotine of Alves, but it didn't help him avoid it. Covington threw himself to the mat in hopes of breaking the hold, but it just wasn't to be. It's a setback and the first loss in the career of the 27-year-old, but he remains a solid welterweight prospect.
Fantasy AnalysisAn NCAA Division 1 wrestler at Oregon State University, Covington's advanced wrestling pedigree has led him to a fast 8-0 start to his MMA career. While his recent victory over Mike "Quicksand" Pyle was an impressive win over a crafty veteran, Alves brings far more athleticism and submission savvy to the table. With five of Alves' nine career wins coming by submission, Covington may be hesitant to remain in Alves' guard on Saturday.
Fantasy AnalysisIt's not often that the UFC burns a potential prospect by having two young, undefeated fighters face each other, but they're doing it here. Covington is more of a wrestler, while Alves' strength is his kickboxing. It should be a terrific, underrated fight.
Fantasy AnalysisCovington, who is a former Division I All-American wrestler, showed off his skills by keeping Pyle planted on his back for the majority of the fight. He landed three big takedowns and won the total strike battle by a count of 112-38 (most of which came via ground-and-pound after the takedowns). It got dicey for Covington late when he gave up his neck in a submission attempt by Pyle, but he was able to get out of it and pick up the unanimous decision win.