Colby Covington is matched up against Demian Maia at UFC Fight Night 119 in October, which pits two grappling styles against each other. Both men have a lot weighing on this upcoming affair.
Colby Covington could be described as one of the least popular fighters to compete in the UFC in recent memory.
The 29-year-old American Top Team welterweight has often been overlooked. The reason is usually due to the criticism of Covington not being exciting enough inside of the cage. Both Maia and Covington share similarities in the criticism they receive. The number of underlying factors in their bout are intriguing nonetheless.
Covington has established himself as a heel outside of the cage through the use of social media. Covington also most recently appeared on several episodes of Global Force Wrestling’s weekly program. The problem with however you’d like to describe him is the fact that he cannot be denied a top opponent given his UFC ranking.
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He is now scheduled against the man who will undoubtedly be his toughest task to date. Maia has also been described as one of the most avoided fighters in recent memory. Could you blame them?
Damian Maia is a scary fighter, but not how Tyron Woodley is scary. While Woodley possesses God given knockout power, Maia prefers to use his masterful jiu Jitsu. Maia has the grappling chops to put you to sleep or tear off a limb at will. If and when he is given the opportunity to close the distance, he will assume control and it won’t be long before he secures his opponent’s back.
Jorge Masvidal, Covington’s best friend and main training partner, managed to leave the cage without tapping or being put to sleep. The difference in size and skill level still proved to be too much. Maia is known for his control, but then again, so is Covington. And that’s where a rock and a hard place meet.
From the outside looking in, time does not appear to be on Maia’s age given that he is 39. Then again, there is more than meets the eye. Maia has been quite effective in limiting the damage he receives during the past couple of years. Maia wasn’t exactly battered and bruised against Tyron Woodley last month either. Then again, the damage received during training camp should also be factored.
Age may be just a number, but father time never calls ahead of arrival. There is no telling how long his body will hold up. Which is why Covington is probably facing Maia at the best time possible. Maia is coming off two battles in the span of two months and will be expected to compete once more in a month’s time.
Covington, on the other hand, will finally be granted a high ranked opponent. He will finally get the opportunity to put his money where his mouth is. Covington will also get the chance to do it in enemy territory as the event takes place in Brazil. Maia will be striving for a successful homecoming, but there is no doubt that the risk is much higher than the reward.