“Am I getting my money’s worth?” It’s a question that consumers ask themselves every day. And in an age where prices are going up throughout North America and around the world, it’s a crucial question.
Many UFC viewers will ask themself that question on Saturday night. With the price of $74.99 USD for UFC 272, are you getting a pay-per-view quality event? It’s hard to say yes.
UFC 272 was originally set to be a packed card that had two title fights. The original plan was to have a rematch between bantamweight champ Aljamain Sterling and interim titleholder Petr Yan.
And in the main event? The trilogy title fight between featherweight striking experts Alexander Volkanovski and Max Holloway. It was undoubtedly set to be a big card. The same cannot be said now with both of those fights booted to later this year.
UFC 272 is now being marketed by a non-title fight between welterweights Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington. With no jewelry on the line, bragging rights have become the selling point. Commercials have highlighted how Covington and Masvidal, once teammates, now cannot stand each other.
Since the start of 2020, the combined records of the welterweights have been one win and three losses. But let’s be fair – those fights were at a high level. All of them came against reigning UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman.
The stardom that Masvidal had before held has faded quite rapidly. In 2019 and even 2020, Masvidal was one of UFC’s top stars. Masvidal was no new name to UFC viewers in 2019. However, a shocking five-second flying knee knockout against Ben Askren made him a viral sensation.
Soon, everyone knew Masvidal’s story. Once someone who fought in backyards alongside the prolific Kimbo Slice, Masvidal was now a real prizefighter. While not a champion, Masvidal appeared on the cover of EA Sport’s UFC video game in 2020 alongside 185-pound titleholder Israel Adesanya.
But things have changed since then. Masvidal’s momentum was slowed significantly in 2020 when he stepped in on short notice to face welterweight champ Usman. After a slow and sleepy five rounds of battle, he lost a decision.
Their rematch last year saw Usman knock Masvidal out in the second round of their fight. In-between the time of their first and second fights, Masvidal established himself as a radical voice in American politics, amplifying the incorrect claim that former President Donald Trump had an election stolen from him.
This was more in line with the character that Covington, his opponent this Saturday, was more known for. At one point, Covington was never seen without a “MAGA” hat in support of Trump. He held radical views too, whether it be also disputing an election or falsely referring to the Black Lives Matter movement as a “terrorists.”
These gimmicks were much less visible in his last appearance, facing Usman in November 2021. While Covington put up a battle against the champ, he ended up losing via unanimous decision in the end, suffering his second defeat to him.
The personalities of Masvidal and Covington may turn some people off from this fight. If you are someone who isn’t one to separate the art from an artist (or in this case the fight from the fighter), this event isn’t for you. But those two personalities, big and loud, are all the UFC has available to sell this fight.
More power to the people who are satisfied in purchasing and viewing a bout that is simply a grudge match, but here are the facts. In the main event, one fighter may fall into a three-fight losing streak – something that in some contexts could cause a fighter to get cut from the promotion. This is a fight between two fighters, albeit high-level, that are due for a win.
That’ll be $74.99.