Colby Covington had to weather an early striking onslaught from Demain Maia tonight at UFC Fight Night 119, but in the end he was able to turn the screw and emerge with a unanimou sdecision victory.
Maia with a jab and then an overhand. Covington feeling out with his jab. Left hand for Maia. Now another one. And a third. Good start to the striking battle from the BJJ ace.
Covington with a jab now and targets the leg with a kick. Maia continuing to pursue strikes and he’s backing up Covington. He smiles, but clearly he’s not enjoying this early pressure from the Brazilian.
Maia in on a takedown attempt, but Covington is able to stuff it. Repeated leg kicks for Covington and Maia works an overhand.
Covington has damage to his right eye in this first round and is touching at it repeatedly. Maia with another left hand. Covington continuing with the kicks to the lead kick of his opponent though.
Covington getting a little wild as he tries to land punches, but Maia moves away. Relentless leg kicks from Covington and then he uncorks a series of punches.
Elbow strike from Covington and a punch from Maia that knocks his opponent off-balance just for a moment. Maia with a takedown attempt and again it’s stuffed by the wrestler.
Back on the feet Covington looks the more energetic of the two and the 39-year-old Maia will have to be careful with his cardio if he’s going to continue to try to match him in the striking battle.
Maia tries for the takedown early in the second round, but it’s denied and he goes back to striking range. Covington with punches, but a solid punch comes in return from Maia.
Maia in deep on a takedown attempt again and battles for it, but Covington is well prepared for this and stuffs it. Again Maia tries for it and again there’s no end product from it. Maia slow to get up after that attempt.
Maia trying to get back to striking, but his punches are a bit more labored now and not landing as crisp and cleanly as before.
Covington not always being especially accurate himself at times, but he does land a few punches and then stuffs Maia’s latest attempt to get him down.
Maia just failing consistently on the single-leg attempts and this is very reminsicent of his recent title fight disappointment now. Again Maia is very slow to stand after this latest attempt and his face is smeared with blood from Covington’s earlier strikes.
Covington with a flurry of left and right hands in the final seconds of the round. Not the most technical work, but he’s keeping up a good pace despite being tired.
Maia working behind the jab here. Covington feeling out with his too though. Nice uppercut from Covington there. A few left hands for him and then a left for Maia.
Easily stuffed takedown attempt from Maia. Covington just continuing to be the harder worker here, pumping out punches that aren’t always landing, but are making him the clearly more active competitor here.
Knee for Maia. Leg kicks for Covington. Jab gets through for Maia, but Covington retaliates with a series of left and rights. Covington clocks Maia with a solid shot and Maia’s legs seemed to wobble a bit there and he goes for the takedown.
Needless to say that fails again and Maia’s face is now soaked in blood as he gets up a little unsteadily. He immediately drops down again for the takedown with no more success than the last time. A crimson patch is forming under Maia’s head here, but he is going to make it to the judges scorecards.
Strong start from Maia here on the feet, but his attempts to then switch to his ground game repeatedly failed and Covington was able to outwork and outlast him in the striking exchanges as the rounds progressed to secure a unanimous decision victory (29-27, 30-27, 30-26).