UFC 272 goes down this Saturday from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It's another major event, headlined by a friends-turned-enemies main event between top welterweights Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal.
Covington enters off two losses in his last three to current divisional king Kamaru Usman, but he's clearly been the opponent to give Usman the most trouble during his title reign. He reached interim champion status amid a seven-fight winning streak where he dominated the likes of Demian Maia, Rafael dos Anjos and Robbie Lawler. Masvidal, meanwhile, is coming off consecutive losses to Usman as well, with the most recent being a devastating knockout. The pair of losses stalled what became an incredible run in 2019 where "Gamebred" picked up three stoppage victories over Darren Till, Ben Askren and Nate Diaz.
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In the co-main event, an odd journey for Rafael dos Anjos comes to an end as the former lightweight champion faces off with late replacement Renato Moicano. Moicano steps in for Rafael Fiziev, whose bout with dos Anjos was delayed from its spot as a February Fight Night headliner to UFC 272, only for Fiziev to test positive for COVID-19 and be forced out of the bout.
Plus, rising featherweight contender Bryce Mitchell is back when he takes on veteran Edson Barboza in an old-school clash of styles. Mitchell has risen to prominence with his wrestling base while Barboza is known for his brutal kicks. Elsewhere, Kevin Holland makes his return to the welterweight division when he takes on Alex Oliveira while former NFL star defensive end Greg Hardy looks to end a losing streak when he takes on Serghei Spivac to open the PPV festivities.
Follow along with all the action on Saturday night with our live blog, providing play-by-play updates and analysis of each fight beginning at 8 p.m. ET.
With so much happening on Saturday night, let's take a closer look at the full fight card with the latest odds from Caesars Sportsbook before we get to our staff predictions and picks for the PPV portion of the festivities.
UFC 272 fight card, odds
- Colby Covington -330 vs. Jorge Masvidal +260, welterweights
- Rafael dos Anjos -180 vs. Renato Moicano +155, 160-pound catchweights
- Bryce Mitchell -155 vs. Edson Barboza +130, featherweights
- Kevin Holland -340 vs. Alex Oliveira +270, welterweights
- Serghei Spivac -195 vs. Greg Hardy +165, heavyweights
- Marina Rodriguez -270 vs. Yan Xiaonan +220, women's strawweights
- Mariya Agapova -180 vs. Maryna Moroz +155, women's flyweights
- Jalin Turner -155 vs. Jamie Mullarkey +130, lightweights
- Kennedy Nzechukwu -140 vs. Nicolae Negumereanu +120, light heavyweights
- Tagir Ulanbekov -230 vs. Tim Elliott +190, flyweights
- Umar Nurmagomedov -800 vs. Brian Kelleher +550, bantamweights
- Devonte Smith -150 vs. L'udovit Klein +125, lightweights
- Dustin Jacoby -200 vs. Michal Oleksiejczuk +170, light heavyweights
With such a massive main event on tap, the crew at CBS Sports went ahead with predictions and picks for the main card. Here are your pick makers: Brent Brookhouse (Combat sports writer), Brian Campbell (Combat sports writer, co-host of "Morning Kombat"), Shakiel Mahjouri (writer), Michael Mormile (producer) and Brandon Wise (senior editor).
UFC 272 picks, predictions
|Masvidal vs. Covington||Masvidal||Masvidal||Covington||Covington||Masvidal|
|Dos Anjos vs. Moicano||Moicano||Moicano||dos Anjos||dos Anjos||Moicano|
|Barboza vs. Mitchell||Mitchell||Mitchell||Barboza||Barboza||Barboza|
|Holland vs. Oliveira||Holland||Holland||Holland||Holland||Holland|
|Spivac vs. Hardy||Spivac||Spivac||Spivac||Hardy||Spivac|
|Records to date (2022)||4-6||4-6||3-7||6-4||6-4|
Masvidal vs. Covington
Campbell: On paper, this is not only a nightmare stylistic matchup for Masvidal, there are many reasons to believe the fresher Covington could produce a 50-45 clean sweep on wrestling alone. Yet the volatile nature of this "best friends turned enemies" theme that has dominated the promotion could open the door for Masvidal to lure his former teammate into an actual fight. Both welterweights have the experience of having sparred together for years and Masvidal seems as focused (and edgy) since his renaissance 2019 campaign when he catapulted from journeyman status to pay-per-view headliner.
Mahjouri: Make no mistake, Covington is your UFC welterweight champion in a reality where Kamaru Usman does not exist. Covington presents many of the same challenges that Masvidal failed to overcome in the first Usman fight: Forward pressure, smothering wrestling, endless stamina and a solid chin. Masvidal has a great asset in three-time NCAA Division I national champion Bo Nickal, but I don't suspect it will be enough to completely close the gaps necessary to beat Covington. "Chaos" is 3-2 in five-round fights while Masvidal is 0-3. This is the sort of matchup Covington thrives in. Expect overwhelming pressure, strikes and takedowns as Covington chips away at Masvidal's endurance. Covington by unanimous decision.
Brookhouse: There's no reason at all to feel that Masvidal wins this fight. That said, the majority of us are picking him to get the win. Call it a gut feeling or maybe just a belief that Covington will feel he needs to prove something by getting in an ill-advised striking war, confusing Masvidal with the shot version of Robbie Lawler he dominated back in 2019. While I'm not suggesting it's impossible for Covington to score the knockout, his power is the worst part of his game. Standing in front of Masvidal and trading blows could be a disaster for Covington because Masvidal is looking to knock you out, not to outbox you and hope the knockout comes like Usman. Covington winning makes all the sense. Masvidal winning just feels right.
dos Anjos vs. Moicano
Campbell: Accepting a fight on four days' notice is a challenge for anyone. Add in that Moicano took separate 14-hour flights to and from Brazil in the span of 48 hours after accepting the bout and it gets even more difficult. But the native of Brazil seems reborn at 155 pounds, having won three of his last four. And he's peaking at the right time, even though his 37-year-old countryman, dos Anjos, is a difficult test for anyone. Look for Moicano to ride the momentum and rely on technique to claim a hard-fought decision over five rounds.
Mahjouri: Kudos to Moicano for stepping up on short notice, but the odds are stacked so heavily against him. Moicano is not prepared for a five-round fight. He only just touched down in Brazil after a 14-hour flight, only to fly straight back to Las Vegas in preparation for this fight. Moicano has looked renewed at lightweight, but he has yet to face top-level competition in this division. Dos Anjos has duked it out with just about every top fighter across lightweight and welterweight, from Khabib Nurmagomedov to Kamaru Usman. Going 25-minutes has never been a problem for the former UFC lightweight champion, who comes into UFC 272 after recovering from serious injuries. RDA is well-rounded, well-conditioned and supremely experienced. That is a challenge for most contenders, let alone an unranked fighter with five days to prepare.
Brookhouse: What stands out as the bigger problem? Moicano coming in on short notice or dos Anjos being 37 years old and out of action since November 2020? Moicano has a lot of momentum and I worry that time will finally have caught up to dos Anjos, who has always been a tough out, and that sets up Moicano to just get in the work to edge out a decision.
Barboza vs. Mitchell
Campbell: For what Mitchell lacks in elite experience opposite such a respected veteran as Barboza, the 27-year-old from Arkansas seems to make up for it in confidence and aggressiveness. The unbeaten Mitchell is peaking at the moment, having won all five of his trips to the Octagon. While his grappling ability might be his true strength, there's an underrated nature to his all-around game that could give the 36-year-old Barboza fits provided Mitchell avoids getting caught big.
Wise: This is as big a test as Mitchell could ask for at this stage of his career. He's not nearly the dominant wrestler that Barboza was beaten to a pulp by in Khabib Nurmagomedov, and his striking still leaves much to be desired. Barboza, meanwhile, has seemingly found his groove at 145 pounds despite the setback against Rafael Fiziev last time out. But even Fiziev provides much more danger in the standup -- and proved it with his TKO of Barboza. Look for the Brazilian to control the pace of this fight at range and possible land one of those patented head kick TKOs late.
Who wins Masvidal vs. Covington? And which fighter is a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed top picks on UFC 272, all from the insider who's up more than $10,000 on MMA picks the past two years, and find out.