Dana White recently suggested that a welterweight showdown between Khamzat Chimaev and Colby Covington could serve as the co-main event for the UFC’s planned PPV event in England next year, and it seems that two former champions in Henry Cejudo and Robert Whittaker have differing opinions on how that fight might go.
“Stylistically, fight-wise, I think that’s a terrible fight for Colby,” ex-middleweight champ Whittaker told Submission Radio. “Terrible. Because you saw with Usman that anyone Colby can’t just relentlessly spam takedowns on, it becomes a kickboxing fight and a striking match. And I think Covington’s great at what he does, but he’s not a kickboxer, he’s not a striker by trade. That doesn’t come naturally to him.
“His pressure style and wrestling style is what comes naturally to him. Khamzat can counter-wrestle Colby. He’s a big dude with long range and a lot of reach, and his striking is nothing ridiculously crazy, but it’s put together at a high level. And he integrates that with the threat of his wrestling and grappling takedowns stupendously.
“So, I think Khamzat for Colby is a bad matchup.”
Meanwhile, former flyweight and bantamweight champion Cejudo saw things differently when he broke down the fight on his YouTube channel, suggesting that Covington’s experience and cardio could be major factors in the fight.
“I think [Covington’s] the more experienced fighter. He’s wrestled a lot longer than Khamzat Chimaev,” Cejudo said. “I think this is gonna be a good fight. I think it’s gonna come down to who’s recovered faster and quicker. And if this is a five-round fight, I almost want to lean towards Colby Covington because, as we saw in that Gilbert Burns fight with Khamzat Chimaev, I’m not sure if Chimaev could ever make 170 pounds.”
“If he could make the weight, my question is will Khamzat actually recover with the gas tank of this guy (Covington) who’s accustomed to making 170 pounds periodically.”
It would certainly be a fascinating fight if it did take place, though at this stage it’s not been officially signed yet.