Marina Rodriguez edges Yan Xiaonan at UFC 272 in technical showcase

Tonight on the prelims at UFC 272, we saw a potential title eliminator in the strawweight division. Top contenders battled it out as Marina Rodriguez (15-1-2) was taking on China’s Yan Xiaonan (13-2).

It’s honestly puzzling to me that this fight with so much on the line is on the prelims. Nevertheless, fans watching the UFC 272 prelims got a treat with this high level matchup tonight.

Marina Rodriguez was going for her fourth straight win at UFC 272. After losing her first career fight by split decision to Carla Esparza back in 2020, she’s gone on a run with wins over Amanda Ribas, Michelle Waterson, and Mackenzie Dern.

Yan was looking to bounce back after suffering her first loss in the UFC. After starting out 6-0 which included wins over title challengers Claudia Gadelha and Karolina Kowalkiewicz, Yan lost to Carla Esparza. At UFC 272, she was hoping to get right back in title contention with a win over Marina Rodriguez.

UFC 272 Recap

Round 1

The UFC 272 strawweight contest kicked off without a touch of the gloves. Yan comes forward and throws a body kick. Big leg kick from Rodriguez and Yan looks to counter with big shots up top. Lots of early pressure from Yan. Big counter right straight from Yan.

Rodriguez catches Yan coming in with a nice right hand of her own. Big combination from Yan and then she catches Rodriguez with a big right hand as Rodriguez comes forward. Rodriguez looks a little shaken after this start from Yan. Another beautiful combination from Yan as she presses Rodriguez against the fence.

Nice low kick from Rodriguez lands but Yan counters with a big one of her own. Rodriguez whiffs on a big shot and eats another combination from Yan. Low kick lands from Yan. Both ladies step forward and land big shots in tight. Rodriguez steps forward and lands a nice jab.

Yan catches Rodriguez coming in and lands a big uppercut in the clinch. Powerful leg kick lands from Rodriguez but Yan evades the attack up top. Low kick from Yan and she circles on the outside. Rodriguez steps in and lands a couple of really big shots. Best moment of the fight for her.

A low shot lands and there’s a break in the action. 90 seconds later, they are back at it. Big side kick up top lands for Yan and then she lands a beautiful left hand. Rodriguez goes for a flying knee but Yan gets a takedown at the end of the round. Big first round at UFC 272 for Yan Xiaonan.

Round 2

Entering the second at UFC 272 and Rodriguez needs to be the aggressor in this round. She immediately takes the center but it’s Yan who lands the first shot with a body kick. Rodriguez whiffs on a big shot and Yan grabs a clinch. The two break immediately and Yan lands a low kick.

Both step forward and land shots but Yan got the better of the exchange. Low kick from Yan and then she steps in with a beautiful combination. Rodriguez comes forward with big hooks, but Yan evades and lands a nice counter shot. Rodriguez is definitely pushing forward more, but Yan is looking sensational.

Jab lands from Yan and she circles on the outside. Rodriguez tries to fire away but Yan is out of range and makes Rodriguez pay with a big right hand counter. Rodriguez again misses and eats a counter for her trouble. A knee attempt from Rodriguez is caught and Yan lands a takedown.

Yan briefly gets the back of Rodriguez, but Rodriguez gets back to her feet. Rodriguez defends the takedown attempts from Yan nicely, but she can’t break the body lock. Heavy cage pressure here from Yan. Both land nice knees and they break. Lead left hook lands for Yan and then Rodriguez lands a knee to the body.

Rodriguez gets her own body lock and pushes Yan against the fence. Rodriguez goes for another knee, but Yan uses the opportunity to break. Big combination lands for Rodriguez just as the final bell sounds. That round could go either way at UFC 272.

Round 3

Entering the final round at UFC 272 and Marina Rodriguez is going to either need a huge round or a finish here. Rodriguez immediately takes the center to start the final frame. Nice right hand from Rodriguez and Yan lands a beautiful side kick counter.

Lead left hook lands for Yan. Rodriguez landing cleaner here in the opening 90 seconds of the final round. Nice low kick lands for Yan then she spins Rodriguez around with a big combination. Another big low kick lands for Yan and that forces Rodriguez to move forward.

Big counter from Yan lands and that slows Rodriguez. Combination lands for Rodriguez and Yan circles. Another big low kick lands for Yan who is adding up those numbers. Big jabs land for both ladies. Big combination attempt from Rodriguez brings on a clinch.

Nice elbow in tight lands for RodriguezSide kick from Yan and then both ladies exchange big left hooks. Rodriguez moves forward and both land big shots. Body kick lands for Rodriguez and she is relentless here in the final frame. Huge left from Rodriguez and she points at Yan.

Yan answers back with a big shot and then she mocks Rodriguez. Big jabs land for Rodriguez. Rodriguez gets in tight and lands a few big elbows. Spinning attacks from Yan land and this one is over. Close final two frames at UFC 272, but I lean towards Yan Xiaonan.

Marina Rodriguez def. Yan Xiaonan by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)

UFC 272 Preview: Jorge Masvidal – Colby Covington

Tonight in the main event of UFC 272, we are going to see one of the biggest grudge matches in the promotion’s history. Former best friends turned bitter rivals will battle it out as Jorge Masvidal (35-15) takes on Colby Covington (16-3).

Both of these men have a deep past together and they both are two of the best welterweights in the UFC. These two used to corner each other for every fight and they used to be roommates. Colby Covington said the two men were like brothers.

However, that friendship has since soured and now we will see the culmination at UFC 272. Jorge Masvidal is fighting for the first time since last April when he was knocked out by Kamaru Usman. It was Masvidal’s second straight loss to Usman.

Covington is in a similar position. The last time we saw Covington was at UFC 268 when he lost a close decision to Usman. Like Masvidal, this was Covington’s second loss to the current welterweight champion.

This fight means so much to both men not just from a personal standpoint, but from a divisional standpoint. A lot is riding on this fight at UFC 272.

UFC 272 Prediction

I truly believe that Colby Covington would be the UFC welterweight champion if Kamaru Usman didn’t exist. If Colby fought in a different time, I think we’d be talking about him as one of the best welterweights and champions of all time.

However, that’s not the case, but I think he can show how good he is tonight. Colby’s relentless pace could really play a big factor at UFC 272. I’ll be curious to see how the pace of the fight impacts Masvidal over the course of five rounds.

Especially considering the fact that Covington is going to mix in grappling. On the feet, Masvidal definitely has an advantage. However, don’t rule out Covington’s ability to land some good shots. He will hold his own, but the bigger shots are going to belong to Masvidal.

I could see Masvidal hurting Covington on the feet. However, I don’t see him putting him away at UFC 272. In all honesty, I don’t see a scenario where Masvidal wins a decision against a guy like Colby Covington. I also don’t see either man getting a finish tonight.

With that in mind, I think we are going to see “Chaos” get the victory at UFC 272.

Prediction: Colby Covington by Unanimous Decision

UFC 272 Preview: Edson Barboza – Bryce Mitchell

Edson Barboza

Tomorrow night on the main card of UFC 272, we are going to see a big time showdown in the featherweight division. Undefeated top prospect Bryce “Thug Nasty” Mitchell (14-0) takes on one of the more devastating strikers in the division in Edson Barboza (22-10).

For years, Edson Barboza terrified the UFC’s lightweight division with his blistering fast striking. After things had stalled out for him at 155 pounds, Barboza decided to try his luck in the UFC’s featherweight division. Tomorrow night will mark his fifth fight in the division.

Thus far, he’s gone 2-2 and the road will not get easier with Mitchell. Injuries kept Bryce Mitchell out of action for 2021, but he’s back and he’s ready to pick right back up where he left off in 2020. After a stint on the Ultimate Fighter, Mitchell made his UFC debut back in 2018.

Counting that fight, Mitchell has gone 5-0 in the UFC. In his last fight, he took on the tough Andre Fili. That was a step up at the time and he passed with flying colors. Now, he’s getting another big test at UFC 272 and we will have to see how he does.

UFC 272 Preview

There is going to be one big key to this UFC 272 featherweight contest. That key is going to be leg kicks. I know many were probably thinking grappling considering how talented Mitchell is on the ground, but I’m actually going to be looking at leg kicks.

Edson Barboza’s leg kicks are devastating. He can take out Mitchell’s advances in a quick way tomorrow night if he’s able to land some big leg kicks. However, if Mitchell can get past the leg kicks and get ahold of Barboza it becomes a really tough fight for the Brazilian.

I think you’re going to see a hot start from Barboza at UFC 272. I think the speed is going to be a problem for Mitchell early on. However, I think a big difference here is that Mitchell is not going to stop moving forward even after the Barboza early onslaught.

This fight is going to go the distance and I believe that Bryce Mitchell will keep his 0 tomorrow night.

Prediction: Bryce Mitchell by Decision

UFC 272 Preview: Kevin Holland – Alex Oliveira

Kevin Holland

Tomorrow night on the main card of UFC 272, we are going to see the welterweight debut of one of the fighters of the year from 2020. Former middleweight contender Kevin Holland (21-7, 1 NC) is dropping down to 170 to take on “Cowboy Alex Oliveira (22-11-1, 2 NC).

You almost couldn’t draw up a better year than Kevin Holland had in 2020 in the UFC. After losing to Brendan Allen in 2019, Holland went on a sensational run where he won five fights in 2020 with four knockouts.

However, after going winless in his last three fights, Holland needed a change of scenery. He decided that he wanted to drop to his natural weight class of 170 pounds and there’s a cowboy waiting for him.

Alex Oliveira has been in there with a who’s who of the welterweight division. From Gilbert Burns to Donald Cerrone to Carlos Condit. Oliveira is battle tested and he needs a win badly at UFC 272. He comes into tomorrow night riding a three-fight losing streak.

UFC 272 Prediction

The one major thing that Oliveira has going for him tomorrow night is his toughness and his experience. In his UFC career, Oliveira has only been stopped by strikes once and that came back in 2017.

Oliveira has solid striking and he does have a decent ground game. However, one might point to the fact that most of his losses have come via submission. If I’m being honest, it’s hard for me to find a spot where I would favor him tomorrow.

Kevin Holland is very long and has dynamic striking. I’m expecting his power to carry down well to the UFC’s welterweight division. I think he’s going to be a big problem for welterweight contenders.

I see Alex Oliveira struggling to get on the inside all night with Kevin Holland picking him apart from the outside. While it’s only happened once before, I think Holland finds the big shot in the third round to get the TKO win at UFC 272.

Prediction: Kevin Holland by TKO – Round 3

UFC 272 Preview: Greg Hardy – Sergey Spivak

Tomorrow night on the main card of UFC 272, we will see a battle of heavyweights. Former NFL star Greg Hardy (7-4, 1 NC) returns to the octagon as he takes on the veteran grappler, Sergey Spivak (13-3).

For Hardy, this will be the final fight on his current UFC contract. There’s no word quite yet whether or not the promotion will bring him back. Currently, he’s on his first losing streak since he’s been with the UFC.

The last time we saw him was at UFC 264 when he took on Tai Tuivasa. Hardy rocked Tuivasa in the first round but rushed in carelessly and got knocked out. That was on the heels of a TKO loss to Marcin Tybura where Hardy gassed out being forced to grapple.

This is something that could really hurt him at UFC 272 against Sergey Spivak. Spivak came into the UFC unbeaten and immediately lost two out of three fights. However, he really turned things around and won three fights in a row. That led him to a fight against Tom Aspinall that he dropped late last year.

UFC 272 Prediction

To me, this entire fight is going to be decided in the first couple of minutes. Will Greg Hardy be able to land a big bomb or is Sergey Spivak going to take him right down. That’s what it’s going to come down to at UFC 272.

The most dangerous part of the fight for Sergey Spivak is going to be the opening minutes. Expect Greg Hardy to come out fast and strong looking for the knockout. When he does land, he lands viciously.

For Spivak, he’s going to need to evade and look for Hardy to overextend and land takedowns. Something tells me that he’s going to be able to get that done. While Hardy definitely has the power to hurt Spivak, I don’t think he’s going to land that big shot.

I think Spivak is going to end up landing takedowns and he’s going to stop Hardy who will ultimately gas from the grappling. Think of this like another Marcin Tybrua fight with Spivak winning at UFC 272.

Prediction: Sergey Spivak by TKO – Round 2

UFC 272 Preview: Marina Rodriguez – Xiaonan Yan

Tomorrow night on the prelims at UFC 272, we will see a potential title eliminator in the strawweight division. Top contenders will battle it out as Marina Rodriguez (15-1-2) will be taking on China’s Xiaonan Yan (13-2).

It’s honestly puzzling to me that this fight with so much on the line is on the prelims. Nevertheless, fans watching the UFC 272 prelims will get a treat with this matchup tomorrow night.

Marina Rodriguez will be going for her fourth straight win at UFC 272. After losing her first career fight by split decision to Carla Esparza back in 2020, she’s gone on a run with wins over Amanda Ribas, Michelle Waterson, and Mackenzie Dern.

Yan is going to be looking to bounce back after suffering her first loss in the UFC. After starting out 6-0 which included wins over title challengers Claudia Gadelha and Karolina Kowalkiewicz, Yan lost to Carla Esparza. Now, she’s hoping to get right back in title contention with a win over Marina Rodriguez.

UFC 272 Preview

If you like technical striking, this is going to be the fight for you. These two ladies are poised to put on a technical showcase at UFC 272. Both Yan and Rodriguez have the skills to best the other on the feet.

We’ve seen Yan get the better of opponents using a good amount of volume. That volume could really come into play against a fighter like Rodriguez. Now, Rodriguez is going to have the big advantage in terms of power and I think technique.

I absolutely love what I see on the feet from Marina Rodriguez. Her technique is flawless and she has some of the best power in the UFC’s strawweight division. I can definitely see that power being an advantage here.

Most people seem to be writing Yan off, but I think this is going to be a very close and competitive matchup. While Yan is going to have success, I think the more impactful strikes will come from Rodriguez at UFC 272 which should be enough to give her a close nod on the scorecards.

Prediction: Marina Rodriguez by Decision

Rafael Dos Anjos will face Renato Moicano at UFC 272

The UFC has scrambled and found a replacement opponent for Rafael Dos Anjos (30-13). Yesterday, we all learned that Rafael Fiziev had tested positive for Covid and was out of the UFC 272 co-main event against RDA.

With that, the promotion scrambled to find a new opponent for Dos Anjos. RDA desperately wanted to stay on the card and the UFC didn’t want to lose him off the card. The search went down many paths and one that got fans excited was Islam Makhachev (22-1).

Makhachev put out there on Twitter that he would face RDA at 170 pounds. Immediately, Dos Anjos agreed to the fight online and sources have said that he was more than willing to fight Islam Makhachev at UFC 272.

However, I cautioned in our article yesterday that I didn’t see Makhachev or his team accepting this fight. They believe they are in line for a title shot and I just couldn’t see them taking the fight. Turns out, the Makhachev team turned down the fight.

UFC 272’s New Co-Main

When it became apparent that Makhachev wasn’t a viable option for UFC 272, the promotion started zeroing in on Renato Moicano (16-4). Moicano is coming off of a big win against Alexander Hernandez at UFC 271.

It was Moicano’s second straight finish in the lightweight division. Moicano and his team immediately agreed to the fight and then the teams started working out the details. Moicano’s manager was the first to announce that the deal was done. 

The fight will still serve as the co-main event of UFC 272 and it will remain five rounds. Moicano is currently in Brazil, but he will immediately fly back to the United States to take this fight on short-notice. Per Moicano’s manager, he’s currently weighing 180 pounds.

Moicano will meet RDA at a catch weight of 160 pounds. The deal has been agreed to and all that’s left is putting signatures on paper and RDA will officially have his new opponent for UFC 272.

Rafael Dos Anjos – Rafael Fiziev is off UFC 272

Well, the UFC 272 fight week is not off to a great start. As promotional efforts got underway for this week’s PPV event, Rafael Dos Anjos (30-13) was appearing on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Hour to preview his upcoming matchup against Rafael Fiziev (11-1).

Originally, these two men were supposed to headline UFC Vegas 48. However, due to visa issues, Fiziev wasn’t able to get into the United States for the fight. The UFC decided to push the fight back to this weekend’s co-main event and keep the fight five-rounds.

However, that fight is not going to happen. While on-air, Ariel Helwani broke the news to Rafael Dos Anjos himself that Rafael Fiziev is out of the UFC 272 co-main event. Fiziev flew to the United States on Thursday to get acclimated and ended up falling ill. Turns out that Fiziev tested positive for Covid over the weekend.

With the positive test, the UFC 272 co-main event is off and the former lightweight champion is left without a fight. Now, at this time it’s not clear on whether or not the promotion will try to keep RDA on the card. However, there are some options if they go that route.

UFC backup options

One of the options that’s already been floated out there is a potential fight with Kevin Holland. Holland is making his welterweight debut at UFC 272 against Alex Oliveira. If this fight were to come together, it would of course be at 170 pounds so RDA wouldn’t have to cut weight.

Another option the UFC could explore is having Islam Makhachev take the fight against RDA. Now, this is not very likely in my opinion. Makhachev just headlined this past weekend’s Fight Night where he stopped Bobby Green in the first round. It was an easy night at the office where Makhachev took no damage.

However, given the way his career has been managed, I find it hard to believe that they would take this short-notice fight at UFC 272. There’s history between RDA and Makhachev as they were supposed to fight a number of times. However, it always fell through.

At this time, there’s no real word on what the UFC will do, but this story is developing.

UFC 272: Jorge Masvidal can’t wait to ‘break’ Colby Covington’s face

In just a couple of months, we are going to see one of the biggest grudge matches in UFC history. Headlining the promotion’s march PPV is a showdown between two of the very best welterweights in the world. The former interim welterweight champion Colby Covington (16-3) and the UFC’s BMF Jorge Masvidal (35-15).

Both men find themselves in a very similar position ahead of UFC 272. While they are still at the very top of the welterweight division, both are kind of in no man’s land considering they both have lost twice to Kamaru Usman. However, that doesn’t take away any of the luster for this fight.

This is a fight that fans have been wanting for years and they are finally going to see it happen. Masvidal appeared on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Hour yesterday and previewed the upcoming fight at UFC 272. Simply put, Masvidal said he wants to do one thing and one thing only and that’s ‘Break’ Colby Covington’s face.

Looking to UFC 272

Things have becoming increasingly personal over the past couple of years between Masvidal and Covington. These two men used to be the best of friends before they became stars in the UFC. As recently as a couple of years ago, Covington and Masvidal were fixtures in the other’s corner.

However, that friendship has long since faded. There were issues between the two at American Top Team and Covington’s new persona created additional problems. The friendship grew to a hatred and the two men have been chomping at the bit to fight each other over the past couple of years.

Now, at UFC 272, we are finally going to see them fight. As expected, Covington is a massive favorite. If Kamaru Usman wasn’t around, Colby Covington would likely be the welterweight champion. However, Masvidal has been counted out many times in his career and he’s proven people wrong.

The buildup to this fight is going to be filled with personal heat and drama. Fight fans should be excited for the months to come.

UFC books headliner between Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal

UFC, Colby Covington

The UFC‘s biggest potential grudge match officially has a date. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was the first to report this afternoon that the promotion had finalized a matchup between Jorge Masvidal (35-15) and Colby Covington (16-3). The news was confirmed by the UFC’s CBO Hunter Campbell.

The matchup will headline UFC 272 on March 5th. We got word that this fight could be coming together over the weekend. Masvidal tweeted at Covington saying the UFC would be calling him about the potential fight. Well, it looks like they did and the fight is on.

This will be the first time that we’ve seen the UFC’s BMF since April of last year. At UFC 261, Masvidal got his second shot at Kamaru Usman. This time, he had a full camp to prepare for the welterweight champion. Unfortunately for Gamebred, the result was much worse.

Masvidal was knocked out cold by Usman and as a result fell down the welterweight ladder. Now, he’s looking to get back on track and he can quickly with this fight against Covington. Originally, Masvidal was set to fight Leon Edwards in December but had to pull out with an injury.

UFC Grudge Match

Like Masvidal, Covington is also coming off of a loss against Kamaru Usman. Covington got his second chance against Usman back at UFC 268 in November. Usman got off to a fast start and nearly finished Covington in the second round.

However, Covington came back strong and made the fight incredibly competitive. In the end, it wasn’t enough and Usman won the fight which made him 2-0 against Covington. Despite being 0-2 against the champion, Covington has proven to the world that he’s at the very top of the division.

As soon as UFC 268 ended, Covington was calling for a fight against Masvidal. Momentum started building over the weekend when news starting leaking that the UFC was moving a couple of title fights from March to April. That move left a vacancy for a big main event at UFC 272.

Now, we know that this grudge match will take center stage in March.