With UFC 225 well and truly wrapped up, most of the post-event speculation has simmered down, leaving fighters to head home and go about their “civilian life”. For some of the athletes, it is a case of going back to the drawing board and planning their next venture, their next play and initial preparations for another opponent. But, one of the main card fighters from UFC 225 has a different task coming out of the Chicago event.
On paper, UFC 225 appeared to be the strongest card of the year so far. In reality, it delivered some incredibly entertaining fights and went a long way towards successfully living up to that billing. Yes, there were some controversial decisions from the judges and yes, there was a fight on the main card which belonged on the fight pass prelims at best.
Despite that, there were plenty of positive talking points and a number of memorable performances throughout the card (shout out Curtis Blaydes and Charles Oliveira). The main card alone delivered a fight of the year candidate, the crowning of a new champion, an undefeated young heavyweight extending his perfect record and a demonstration of experience and fight IQ from a multiple division title contender.
Lets take a look at what should come next for each of UFC 225’s main card winners.
The wait is finally over and arguably the most anticipated UFC card of the year is less than an hour away from kicking off in Chicago, Illinois.
The final few days of preparation have not been without drama, as is tradition, with Yoel Romero missing the 185lb mark by 0.2lbs. As a result, we still have a Whittaker vs Romero main event, but the UFC middleweight title is no longer on the line.
We will bring you all of the action as it happens, with the results of all fights being updated below in real time.
Nobody could ever accuse Colby Covington of being shy when it comes to giving his opinions, particularly when it comes to his fellow welterweights.
During my recent interview with Colby, I asked him to go through the welterweight top 15 and give me a short review of each fighter. As you might expect, he was only too willing to oblige.
Check out Colby’s thoughts below.
Number 15 – Dong Hyun Kim
Number 14 – Alex Oliveira
Number 13 – Leon Edwards
Number 12 – Gunnar Nelson
Number 11 – Donald Cerrone
Number 10 – Santiago Ponzinibbio
Number 9 – Jorge Masvidal
Number 8 – Neil Magny
Number 7 – Demian Maia
Number 6 – Kamaru Usman
Number 5 – Robbie Lawler
Number 4 – Colby Covington
Number 3 – Stephen Thompson
Number 2 – Darren Till
Number 1 – Rafael Dos Anjos
The Champion – Tyron Woodley
There aren’t many athletes in the UFC that large numbers of fans actively dislike. Those that do fall into that category are typically loud, confident and opinionated fighters who have a large, loyal, core group of fans who don’t care much if they upset or alienate the wider fan base.
Conor McGregor aside, no fighter has made quite such an effort to court controversy and anger fans in recent memory than Colby “Chaos” Covington. The 30-year-old is undefeated in his last five fights and now finds himself just days away from a shot at the interim UFC welterweight title, against former UFC lightweight title holder Rafael Dos Anjos.
In the last twelve months alone, Covington has angered the entire nation of Brazil, been hit with a boomerang by UFC heavyweight Fabricio Werdum, publicly revealed spoilers for both Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Avengers: Infinity War and insulted almost every other fighter in his division.
Covington spoke exclusively with MMAMotion to discuss his upcoming fight with Dos Anjos, his thoughts on Darren Till , what he gets out of trolling UFC fans and making the UFC great again.
Tom Mulligan – It’s been almost eight months since your somewhat notorious win over Demian Maia in Brazil at UFC Fight Night 119. How does it feel to finally get your shot at a belt after all this time?
Colby Covington – I Called it back then. It’s champagne and title fights on US soil after beating that filthy animal [Maia] in that dump.
TM – Now you find yourself facing another Brazilian in former lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos. What kind of risk do you believe he poses to your chances of capturing the welterweight gold?
CC – About as much of a risk as someone hitting the lottery which ain’t good odds. I’m going to dunk my balls on RDA’s face just like Michael Jordan used to at the United Center in Chicago.
TM – Dos Anjos has of course been in this situation before having been the champion at 155lbs. How much of a factor do you think that experience will be when the cage door closes in Chicago?
CC – It won’t make a difference. I have lifelong experience competing in wrestling and winning national titles so I know how to win.
TM – Darren Till picked up a somewhat divisive decision win over Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson on Sunday night and many now see him as another top contender in the division. Can you tell me what you think about Till and how he would fare should you two meet in the cage?
CC – The Tillsbury Doughboy needs to lay off the cake, he wouldn’t last very long against me, I’m on another level. Neither [Till nor Wonderboy] are well rounded fighters. They’re both just one dimensional and will never wear gold.
TM – Assuming you win the interim title against Dos Anjos at UFC 225 in Chicago, reigning champion Tyron Woodley would almost certainly be your next fight. How do you see that match up going for you?
CC – When I win the interim title I’m sure Tyquil Woodley will retire and run to Hollywood to avoid fighting me.
TM – You’ve rather notoriously shared major spoilers for films on Twitter in the past. Can you explain the thinking behind that? Does it motivate you knowing that a huge portion of the fan base wants to see you beaten as a result?
CC – [It’s] because all my haters are nerds and virgins that love those movies. And I love the fact that people want to see me get knocked out, it fuels my fire within.
TM – So it’s fair to say the hate is a big motivator for you? Do you have a message you’d like to send to the UFC fans reading this?
CC – Your hate and tears fuel the machine that is making this division and UFC great again.
TM – Moving back to UFC 225 and Rafael Dos Anjos, can you give us a prediction of what’s going to happen?
CC – 2nd round KO. It’s gonna take me one round to beat the steroids out of him. Then in the second round, I finish Ralphie Dos Nachos.
UFC 225 takes place on Saturday June 9th at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois and will be headlined by Robert Whittaker putting his UFC middleweight title on the line against number one contender Yoel Romero. The co-main event, will see Covington and Rafael Dos Anjos compete for the interim UFC welterweight title.
A rematch between current middleweight contender Yoel Romero, and UFC Middleweight champion Robert Whittaker is set to go down once again – this time it’ll be for the undisputed middleweight title at the United Center, Chicago on June 9th.
Robert Whittaker (19-4) and Yoel Romero (13-2) last fought on July 8, 2017 at UFC 213 in the T-Mobile Arena. In this bout “The Reaper” Robert Whittaker picked up the win via unanimous decision. However, the fight between these two warriors was for the Interim UFC Middleweight title, with the winner getting a crack at the legitimate champ Michael Bisping.
However, an unexpected (and somewhat complicated) situation occurred when the UFC announced Bisping would fight the former long reigning Welterweight Champion Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217. “The Count” would go onto loose this bout, which ended with GSP becoming the fourth fighter in UFC history to win two belts at two different weight classes. St-Pierre then later vacated the belt 1 month later due to medical issues, with the UFC later promoting Robert Whittaker as the undisputed champion.
Romero, the former Olympic wrestling silver medalist is coming off an outstanding knockout victory over Luke Rockhold at UFC222. This bout was originally set for the Interim UFC middleweight title. However, Yoel missed weight, hitting the scales at 187.7 lbs. This subsequently rendered him ineligible for the title, but still able to fight.
Even with Whittaker making his return from illness, it still doesn’t hide his recent success inside the Octagon. Whittaker is currently riding an 8 fight winning streak with notable wins over, Yoel Romero, Jacare Souza and Derek Brunson.
The rematch of Robert Whittaker Vs Yoel Romero will certainly be an exciting way to settle the argument of who is the greatest UFC middleweight in the world.
Former light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans (19-7-1) is looking to put his middleweight woes behind him at UFC 225.
The former 205lb great will return to the division where he made his name after 4 consecutive losses and with only 2 wins in his last eight contests.
After losing two straight fights at 205lbs, Evans dropped to middleweight in an attempt to regain his form. That effort was ultimately in vain as the move only yielded back to back losses against Sam Alvey and Dan Kelly.
Last month, Evans was rumoured to have accepted a bout at UFC London against former middleweight champion Michael Bisping. That fight was unfortunately not to be. Evans now has a shot at redemption back in the division he called home for the majority of his career.
ESPN confirmed that the 38-year old will be facing Anthony Smith (28-13-0). Smith, coincidently is also moving up from middleweight after picking up a KO loss to Thiago Santos at UFC Belem last month. Prior to the loss to Santos, Smith had won three straight fights with wins over Elvis Mutapcic, Andrew Sanchez and Hector Lombard.
Rising heavyweight star Curtis “Razor” Blaydes has been handed his stiffest test yet in the form of number 2 ranked heavyweight Alistair Overeem. The fight was confirmed by the UFC this evening and is set to take place at UFC 225 in Blaydes home town of Chicago.
Overeem hasn’t fought since being on the receiving end of a highlight reel uppercut from former title challenger Francis Ngannou at UFC 218 last December. The 37-year old veteran holds an impressive record of 43 wins and 16 losses with 1 no contest. The big question mark over “Reem” is how he will bounce back from such a devastating knock out in his last outing. Of his 16 losses, 11 of these have come via KO/TKO but none were as spectacular as the one dished out by Ngannou.
Blaydes enters the fight with just 10 professional bouts to his name and a record of 9-1-0 with 1 no contest with seven of those nine victories coming via KO/TKO. The 27-year old Chicago native’s rise to the upper echelons of the heavyweight division has been a rapid one. His first an only professional loss came in his UFC debut in April 2016 against none other than Francis Ngannou. Since then, Blaydes has been unstoppable. The only blot in his copy book came from his brutal victory over Adam Milstead being overturned to a no contest thanks to the Texas Athletic Commission rules over marijuana usage.
In his last outing, Blaydes secured the biggest fight of his short career in with an impressive decision victory over heavy handed veteran Mark Hunt at UFC 221. It was a mature performance from the former college wrestler in using his high fight IQ to recognise the risk in engaging in a stand up battle with Hunt. Blaydes wrestled his way to a lop sided decision victory which elevated him to the number 5 spot in the UFC heavyweight division.
A victory for Blaydes would almost certainly put him in position for a shot at the heavyweight title fight between current champion Stipe Miocic and the challenging light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier.
With six wins in his last seven fights, for Overeem this fight is a chance to prove he can move on from the brutal knockout he received and begin to make his case for a chance to capture the one thing missing from his decorated career. The UFC heavyweight championship.