UFC 272 Prelim Card
Light heavyweights Dustin Jacoby and Michal Oleksiejczuk kick off the action. Jacoby is a slight favorite and is favored to come out on top.
Devonte Smith takes on Ludovit Klein in a lightweight contest. Klein is stepping in on short notice and is expected to suffer defeat against Smith.
Tim Elliot collides with Tagir Ulanbekov in a flyweight tilt. Ulanbekov should make it six wins in a row, but the crafty American always has a chance.
An exciting featherweight bout between Brian Kelleher and Umar Nurmagomedov is also on the cards. Kelleher is a game opponent with heavy hands, but it’s hard to look past Nurmagomedov who is very heavily favored to get the win.
Maryna Moroz takes on Mariya Agapova in a women's flyweight contest. Expect Agapova to make it three wins in her four UFC fights so far.
More light heavyweights are in action as Nicolae Negumereanu takes on Kennedy Nzechukwu. It’s a close contest, but Nzechukwu is just about favored to get the victory.
Marina Rodriguez takes on Yan Xiaonan in a pivotal women's strawweight fight. Rodriguez, the number 3 ranked contender, is favored to come out on top versus the #4 contender, and will likely get the next title shot with a big win.
The featured prelim sees the intriguing prospect Jalin Turner battle Jamie Mullarkey in a lightweight encounter. It should be a back-and-forth war with Australia’s Mullarkey that has a two-fight winning streak of his own.
UFC 272 Main Card
Sergey Spivak (13-3) v Greg Hardy (7-4, 1 NC)
Sergey Spivak welcomes Greg Hardy back to action in the main card heavyweight opener. Spivak is coming off a TKO defeat to Tom Aspinall. Prior to that, the Russian won his last three outings.
Hardy, meanwhile, is coming off back-to-back knockout defeats to Marcin Tybura and Tai Tuivasa. Spivak will not be any easier who is favored to come out on top and make it three defeats in a row for the former NFL star.
Kevin Holland (21-7, 1 NC) v Alex Oliveira (22-11-1, 2 NC)
Kevin Holland makes his welterweight debut against the all-action Alex Oliveira. Holland is winless in his last three outings after back-to-back decision defeats to huge middleweights Derek Brunson and Marvin Vettori.
He would then compete in a no contest with Kyle Daukaus after an accidental head collision. Regardless, the winless streak has seen Holland make the move down in weight.
Oliveira is also on a three-fight winless streak. The Brazilian suffered defeats to Shavkat Rakhmonov, Randy Brown and most recently, Niko Price. Both fighters will be desperate for a win and given their styles, this should be a brawl. However, the bigger Holland is expected to be the one to return to the win column and could do it in spectacular fashion.
Edson Barboza (22-10) v Bryce Mitchell (14-0)
An intriguing stylistic matchup takes place in the featherweight division as lethal striker Edson Barboza takes on unbeaten grappler Bryce Mitchell. Barboza is coming off his first TKO defeat in the featherweight division after getting battered by Giga Chikadze. Prior to that, Barboza enjoyed wins over Makwan Amirkhani and Shane Burgos.
Mitchell, on the other hand, remains undefeated with a 14-0 record. He last competed all the way back in October 2020 when he outpointed Andre Fili over three rounds. Barboza will be his toughest opponent yet, but given Barboza’s struggles on the ground and Mitchell’s elite grappling, the American is just about favored to get the win.
Rafael dos Anjos (30-13) v Renato Moicano (16-4-1)
Rafael Fiziev was forced to withdraw from the co-main event due to a positive COVID test. However on just four days notice Renato Moicano has stepped up to take the fight against the former champion! The 145 lbs contender has found success since moving up to lightweight, and will step up to weigh-ins at a 160-pound catchweight for this one.
With dos Anjos having a long run at 170lbs, size will be at his advantage, and should be able to wear down Moicano for a decision victory in the Brazilian versus Brazilian affair.
Colby Covington (16-3) v Jorge Masvidal (35-15)
In a fight that is over two years in the making, Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal will finally settle their beef inside the Octagon. Covington is coming off a unanimous decision defeat to Kamaru Usman in their welterweight title rematch. However, in total, he has won eight of his last 10 with his only defeats coming to Usman.
Masvidal, meanwhile, is coming off two straight defeats to Usman in their welterweight title fights. Masvidal was outpointed in July 2020 after stepping in on short notice before he was brutally knocked out by Usman in their rematch in April last year. Prior to those two losses, “Gamebred” was on an amazing three-fight win streak with finishes over Darren Till, Ben Askren and Nate Diaz.
Covington will have the edge in the wrestling while Masvidal will have the edge in the striking. However, Covington has faced many elite strikers and was able to overwhelm them with his pace, volume and wrestling. Expect the same to happen this time around as well as “Chaos’ is a huge betting favorite to beat his old friend.
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About Ryan O’Leary
Ryan O’Leary is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist and commentator. The Swedish-based writer is the founder and editor at MMAViking.com, which is the premier source for Nordic mixed martial arts news since 2008.