This Saturday night will showcase one of the UFC’s biggest rivalries with Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington, but that will not be the only important fight of the evening. Here’s a guide to the must-watch fights of the night.
Marina Rodriguez vs Yan Xiaonan
In the women’s strawweight division, Marina Rodriguez and Yan Xiaonan will be in line for a huge fight. Dana White has confirmed Carla Esparza will most likely be next in line for a shot at champion Rose Namajunas, so this means that Rodriguez and Xiaonan will be fighting for what appears to be the No.1 contender spot. With big implications for the division, watch for a close and competitive fight that will certainly go down to the wire.
Jalin Turner vs Jamie Mullarkey
In the next fight of the night, lightweight Jalin Turner is looking to advance his win streak to four when he takes on Jamie Mullarkey. In his last fight, Turner stopped the hype train for fellow up and comer Uros Medic with a first round submission.
Turner has the talent and well rounded skills to climb up the ranks of a division that is infested with talent as it is. Jamie Mullarkey is no easy opponent however and has dynamite in his hands, so watch for Turner to take this to the canvas and work for another submission.
Kevin Holland vs Alex Oliveira
Another fight to look at is Kevin Holland vs Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira. This marks the welterweight debut for Holland, known for trash talking his opponents early and often during his scraps. Holland won all five of his fights in 2020, but slipped in 2021 going 0-2 against Derek Brunson and Marvin Vettori.
He looked outmatched in the wrestling department in those bouts and made a point to work on that aspect of his game. He returned against Kyle Daukaus in late 2021, but an accidental headbut ended up putting Holland out cold for a few seconds and the fight was determined a no contest.
Holland has a loud crowd of supporters and the whole world will see if a new weight class can spark a title run if he can defeat Oliveira, who has lost his last three.
Edson Barboza vs Bryce Mitchell
Now for one of the most interesting fights of the night, Edson Barboza vs Bryce Mitchell. On one hand, you have one of the most skilled and diverse strikers the UFC has ever seen in Barboza, who has composed a ridiculous highlight reel of knockout wins. On the other, you have Bryce Mitchell, who has pulled off nine submission wins and has yet to win a bout via knockout.
This is a classic case of “if the fight stays standing” and “if the fight hits the mat” but if Mitchell can actually take down Barboza, expect him to be submitted. Mitchell owns a Twister submission, which has only ever been completed by one other fighter, Chan Sung Jung.
Mitchell stands undefeated at 14-0 and is looking to bring himself even closer to title contention in the featherweight division; a division that seems to be wide open at the moment in terms of welcoming new title challengers.
Rafael dos Anjos vs Renato Moicano
Lastly, the Co-Main Event of UFC 272 between Renato Moicano and Rafael dos Anjos will certainly be a barn burner. After the original fight fell through just days before the event due to a Rafael Fiziev positive Covid test, Moicano stepped up after just having fought at UFC 271.
There’s no doubt that this will be a potential Fight of the Night contender, especially with five rounds of combat. Moicano is looking to revitalize his career at lightweight after previously competing at 145 lbs. and dos Anjos is looking to make one final title run before his career comes to a close.
Both are extremely well rounded but Moicano’s recent activity may play a large role in this fight as dos Anjos has not fought since Nov. 2020.