The first time Covington began calling out Woodley was once in June 2017 when Woodley was once the UFC welterweight champion. The combat by no means got here to fruition then or after a number of different tries over the last few years. On Saturday that adjustments.
The elite welterweights will meet in the primary tournament of UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas. It shall be a true grudge match with a pork that dates the entire as far back as the primary time they educated with every different in 2014.
“He has to are living as much as the entire stuff he is been speaking,” Woodley advised ESPN’s UFC Fight Camp this week.
The combat could have identify ramifications within the welterweight department. ESPN has Covington ranked No. 2 on the planet at 170 kilos, whilst Woodley is ranked No. 8.
Covington (15-2) has no longer fought since a fifth-round TKO loss to champion Kamaru Usman in a identify combat at UFC 245 ultimate December. The debatable Florida resident has a new training home at MMA Masters in Miami after a messy falling out with American Top Team. Covington, 32, had received seven immediately previous to the Usman loss. He is a former period in-between welterweight champ.
Woodley (19-5-1) is on a two-fight dropping streak. He dropped the identify to Usman at UFC 235 in March 2019. Since then, he has misplaced to most sensible contender Gilbert Burns. Woodley, 38, was once unbeaten in seven immediately previous to the previous two fights and stays some of the most sensible welterweights in UFC historical past with 3 a hit identify defenses.
In the co-main tournament Saturday, UFC wins chief Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone takes on motion fighter Niko Price. Cerrone (36-15, 1 NC) has misplaced 4 immediately and is having a look to show issues round. Price (14-4, 1 NC) has alternated wins and losses in his previous 5 fights.
Also on a stacked leading card, most sensible prospect Khamzat Chimaev meets Gerald Meerschaert, Johnny Walker faces Ryan Spann in a combat of up-and-coming mild heavyweights and Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace Mackenzie Dern meets Randa Markos.
Brett Okamoto, Marc Raimondi and Jeff Wagenheim recap the fights as they occur in Las Vegas.
Fight in growth:
Jackson (18-3-1), who was once lower by way of the UFC in 2016, submitted Bektic (13-4) by the use of guillotine choke at 1:21 of the 0.33 around. Jackson approved the combat on simply 3 days realize, after Bektic’s unique opponent, Eduardo Garagorri, was once pulled because of a cornerman checking out certain for COVID-19.
Woke what a comeback
— Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) September 19, 2020
Bektic, 29, was once as soon as regarded as some of the most sensible potentialities within the game, however got here in extraordinarily motivated having misplaced his ultimate two. Those two losses got here towards ranked fighters in Dan Ige and Josh Emmett even though, and Bektic was once regarded as greater than a 3-to-1 making a bet favourite within the bout. He became to his wrestling early and incessantly, however the submission abilities and aerobic of Jackson prevailed.
The featherweight bout became a grappling fit, as Bektic appeared to impose his wrestling each and every around. Jackson completed the second one around on most sensible touchdown laborious elbows, on the other hand, and Bektic was once gradual returning to his nook. Jackson perceived to scent blood, as he got here out competitive within the 0.33 and secured the guillotine when Bektic desperately appeared to take him to the bottom.
At the time of the stoppage, Jackson have been out-landed in overall moves 76 to 20, however Bektic’s fatigue was once visual. Jackson tried seven submissions within the combat in line with ESPN Stats and Info.
Silva were given again on target with persistence, persistence, persistence … then a unexpected pounce upon an armbar alternative to get the tapout at 2:29 of Round 1.
The 29-year-old from Brazil, who was once coming off her most effective occupation loss, discovered herself on her again 45 seconds into the combat because of a well timed Borella takedown. And that is the place the combat remained, with Borella shedding the occasional hammer fist from complete guard whilst additionally being wary to stay herself freed from submission threat.
Beautiful bjj by way of Bueno Silva. #UFCVegas11
— Tatiana Suarez (@tatianaufc) September 19, 2020
Silva was once in place to arrange a triangle submission, however Borello defended smartly. Then, in a flash, Silva switched her assault to an armbar, and once she secured it, Borello tapped. It was once the 34-year-old Italian’s fourth loss in a row, together with two immediately first-round submissions.
For a moment immediately week, referee Chris Tognoni’s choices shall be a speaking level popping out of a UFC card.
Clark beat Alpar by way of TKO by the use of moves at 4:21 of the 0.33 around in a ladies’s bantamweight bout. But the combat arguably can have been over previous to that series.
Earlier within the 0.33 around, Clark landed a troublesome knee to Alpar’s face as Alpar was once falling to the canvas. Tognoni paused the combat, believing on the time that it was once an unlawful knee. But it was once no longer. Only Alpar’s ft had been touching the mat when the knee landed, so it was once no longer a nasty.
— Alex Volkanovski (@alexvolkanovski) September 19, 2020
Tognoni did right kind himself. However, as a substitute of calling the bout a TKO end proper there, Tognoni allowed it to move on. Alpar was once obviously broken badly by way of the knee and her face was once pouring blood.
“I used to be like, did I win?” Clark mentioned in her postfight interview. “He seemed like he was once preventing it.”
Clark persevered to maul a compromised Alpar for any other short while. Tognoni in the end stepped in when Clark landed any other vicious knee to Alpar’s face following a troublesome proper hand. In the tip, it was once some of the best possible performances of Clark’s occupation in spite of the confusion.
“I feel the finishing was once even higher anyway,” Clark mentioned.
Clark, 32, snapped a two-fight dropping streak with the victory. The Australia local has seemed like a brand new fighter since shifting to CSA Gym in California. Alpar, a 29-year-old Texan, had a three-fight successful streak snapped.
It’s a second Minner (25-11) has labored long and hard for. The 30-year-old has been preventing professionally since 2012, and he did not make it to the UFC till his 34th skilled combat. He went into Saturday’s contest a sexy important making a bet underdog, however proved oddsmakers fallacious by way of recording his 21st first-round end.
Minner appeared very relaxed from the hole bell. He went to paintings with grimy boxing within the clinch, running Laramie to the frame with punches. Laramie did not appear to love the early offense and appeared for a takedown, which opened the door for Minner’s guillotine. Minner turns into most effective the 6th fighter this yr to win a combat with out soaking up a unmarried important strike.
Minner improves to 1-1 within the UFC. He misplaced his debut on quick realize towards Grant Dawson. Laramie, who simply earned a UFC contract on Aug. 11, drops to 0-1.
“He driven me towards the cage and concept that grind was once going to paintings,” Minner mentioned. “I slowed my sport down. People may no longer suppose so as it was once a snappy submission. My combat IQ is simply going to continue to grow.”
Costa it seems that loves to get his paintings carried out early.
The 26-year-old from Taunton, Massachusetts, persevered his run of speedy finishes by way of crushing Newson with a head-kick knockout simply 41 seconds into Round 1. Costa has first-round KOs in all six of his occupation wins, and this was once his second-fastest one.
Twas gorgeous 😢 https://t.co/nkbgCVT6NS
— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) September 19, 2020
Costa stalked his opponent within the opening moments of the combat, lining up his vary, then threw a left hand that Newson dodged. But proper at the back of the punch got here a kick, that landed flush at the chin and dropped Newson stiff at the canvas. Costa pounced with punches earlier than being pulled away by way of the referee.
Newson, 31, fights out of Portland, Oregon. He nonetheless is winless within the UFC, after dropping his debut ultimate yr and having a no contest in February.
Ewell and Rivera made an early bid for Fight of the Night.
In the tip, Ewell earned a split-decision (28-29, 29-29, 29-28) win within the bantamweight contest. But the bout itself was once motion from begin to end. Ewell landed some massive photographs in each and every around and outworked Rivera all through. Somehow, the sturdy Rivera was once ready to continue to exist and seem like the brisker fighter within the ultimate mins.
Ewell began very strongly. He landed some gorgeous combos, snapping Rivera’s head again with immediately left fingers. Rivera had a pleasant blitzing combo and a leaping knee within the first around, as smartly. But Ewell was once ready to have good fortune at the floor, in brief getting Rivera’s again at one level.
Both males bogged down slightly in the second one after an excessively fast paced starting of the combat. Ewell caught together with his technical boxing, even though, discovering a house over and over again for that left hand, typically preceded by way of a jab. In the second one, he additionally went to the frame and harm Rivera at one level with a left to the midsection.
Rivera tried to rally within the 0.33. But Ewell saved up with the combos and did giant injury with a punching flurry. Rivera persevered coming ahead, even within the ultimate mins, touchdown a mix and taking Ewell down. Rivera was once making an attempt floor and pound because the combat got here to an finish.
Ewell, 32, has received two immediately and 3 of his ultimate 4. The California local has 4 wins by the use of resolution since 2018, tied for probably the most within the bantamweight department with Merab Dvalishvili, in line with ESPN Stats & Info. Rivera, 31, has dropped two of 3 within the UFC, all within the ultimate 4 months.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) September 19, 2020
Nam recorded his 11th occupation knockout on the 1:34 mark of the second one around.
Usually a flyweight, Nam (20-11-1) fought Rivera (10-2) on the bantamweight 135-pound prohibit. The end got here when Nam knocked Rivera down with a proper hand and adopted it with laborious moves status over his guard. It’s Nam’s moment consecutive win within the UFC, after struggling back-to-back losses to open his UFC occupation in overdue 2019 and early 2020.
The bout was once aggressive up till the end. Rivera focused Nam’s legs with kicks, whilst Nam targeted at the frame and the top. This was once Nam’s 0.33 look already of 2020. Rivera, a former Contender Series alum, falls to 0-1 within the promotion.
“I truly wish to combat Joseph Benavidez,” Nam mentioned. “He’s a legend and we are nearly round the similar age. That would really feel nice to combat him.
“It’s the start of one thing, this overdue in my occupation. They say tremendous wine does age. I’m simply that.”
Still to come back:
Welterweight: Colby Covington (15-2, 10-2 UFC, -360) vs. Tyron Woodley (19-5-1, 9-4-1 UFC, +290)
Welterweight: Donald Cerrone (36-15, 23-12 UFC, +120) vs. Niko Price (14-Four 1NC, 6-Four 1NC UFC, -140)
Middleweight: Khamzat Chimaev (8-0, 2-0 UFC, -400) vs. Gerald Meerschaert (31-13, 6-5 UFC, +320)
Light heavyweight: Johnny Walker (17-5, 3-2 UFC, -120) vs. Ryan Spann (18-5, 4-0 UFC, +100)
Strawweight: Mackenzie Dern (8-1, 3-1 UFC, -165) vs. Randa Markos (10-9-1, 6-7-1 UFC, +145)
Middleweight: Kevin Holland (18-5, 5-2 UFC, -240) vs. Darren Stewart (12-Five 1 NC, 5-4-1 NC UFC, +200)