In March 2023, we all will, hopefully still, bear witness to a fight between the Wolf of Chechnya and the Embodiment of Chaos signup for top contention in the welterweight division. Top contenders Khamzat Chimaev and Colby Covington will face off for what may easily be, the fight of the year, for 2023. Though there is only speculation at this early stage. Predictions can be made for Chimaev Vs Covington and analysis can be done on their fighting styles.

An Introduction To: Chimaev Vs Covington

Both of these fighters need no introduction for any Mixed Martial Arts, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), or welterweight division fan. They are two of the most outspoken confident individuals in all MMA media. Colby Covington is infamously known to not have any boundaries. He attacks his opponents throughout media scrums, getting into his opponent’s minds and personal lives. On the other hand, Khamzat Chimaev is the newest most confident update to the welterweight division. A rather reactive aggressive personality, Khamzat tends to desire the knockout inside and outside the ring, especially against fake gangsters.

The Covington Tactic

In the past, Chaos Covington has mentally worn down top ten contenders like Jorge Masvidal, Damien Maya, and Robbie Lawler with his targeted trash-talking. Often making personal attacks on their lifestyles, respect, pay, and even their loved ones.

Khamzat’s Volatility

Khamzat on the other hand is an extremely volatile personality outside of the ring. Hence, Covington’s mental tactics may prove extremely dangerous for both fighters. The potential of disqualification is extremely likely if the situations escalate anything like how they did when Khamzat was meant to fight Nate Diaz.

Khamzat At UFC 279

Khamzat got into a feud with Kevin Holland prior to UFC: Nate Vs Chimaev. During the pre-fight conferences, Khamzat and other fighters created havoc backstage in an all-out brawl between each other. Khamzat apparently got into an altercation with Holland. Forcing UFC President Dana White to altogether cancel the conferences. 

Further chaos at the weigh-ins with Khamzat had him showing up to the scales significantly overweight. Danas’ hand was once again forced into creating a new fight for the Chechnyan against Kevin “The Trailblazer” Holland. The fight was extremely one-sided, however, with Chimaev finding an easy first-round submission.

Media Victory For The Baddest Bad Guy at Chimaev Vs Covington?

It’s no doubt the pre-fight shenanigans between these two contenders will be wild. However, will Covington step too far? Or will Khamzat lose his cool and get into an unsanctioned fistfight? These are the questions on every analyst’s mind.

Covington’s Fighting Style

Colby “Chaos” Covington is a 5-round, full-distance, war-fighter. Of the 20 fights in his professional career, 15 fights have gone to the final rounds and 10 have been won via the judge’s decision. In this regard, he effectively employs a point-scoring striking tactic. He has some of the most impressive stamina in the business with 6 of his prior fights going the championship 5th round distance.

Covington is a headhunter with extremely precise strikes while he employs powerful wrestling to close the distance on his opponents. To make matters even worse, is the huge variety of pinpoint punches “Chaos” utilizes. 

Covington, running his pace, on the feet for five rounds, is a very dangerous fighter.

Colby often does not get due credit for his amazing wrestling skills. Although he’s known for his striking, Covington is a college and university wrestling champion with strong takedown defense and a potent takedown average as well (4 takedowns per 15 mins). On top of that Colby has amazing takedown defense, rarely ever getting brought all the way down to the ground. But whether that holds up against Khamzats famous Russian Sambo is another question entirely.

Covington isn’t the most skilled submission artist but he has decent caliber here as well winning his college grappling championship and finishing 5 fights with the rear-naked, guillotine, and arm triangle chokes.

Covington utilizes his cracking punches to cover the distance while shooting for single-leg underhooks. After he completes those holds, he uses the advantage to throw powerful uppercuts. All the while smothering his opponent with his weight.

However, he rarely transitions this into submissions. Instead chooses to give the opponent room to return to the feet and the center of the octagon. This allows him to keep scoring punches and making takedowns to receive the most points at the end of the match.

Khamzats Fighting Style

Chimaev is a wrestling prodigy from Chechnya, Russia. He’s been wrestling from the extremely young age of 5 years old. Given that head start, Chimaev has had a much longer lead on anyone in his division when it comes to offensive takedowns and takedown defense. 

His fight with Kevin Holland was a beautiful example of how light he is on his feet while never truly losing his grip on the highly elusive Holland. Chimaev is famous for the Russian sambo style ground and pound. Utilizing his wrestling control to severely damage the person while they have barely any breathing or escape-room in his anaconda-like grip.

Chimaev’s striking might be his most limiting factor. He utilizes simple punches and barely any striking variation. Despite this Chimaev does three things well. He shoots knockout-capable jabs alongside devastating uppercuts and hooks all the while keeping a mid guard. 

This allows him to utilize his long reach effectively and have a clear picture of his opponent’s counters. He is most susceptible to the overhand for this strategy and in his challenge against Gilbert Burns it was that very punch that kept finding its way through to the chin of Khamzat.

Khamzat Chimaev is a purple belt BJJ specialist under Alan do Nascimento, also known as “Finfou”. Although it is surprising he isn’t a black belt, with his years of experience. Purple-belt-Khamzat has ended many of his fights in either submissions or chokes. With a total of twenty takedowns in his six UFC fights that have lasted a total of 10 rounds, he finds himself in submission territory often.

In that regard, Chimaev’s  submission defense is at an astounding 100{317a7769e272dec17b69bda26c6a5a4c5e6799efcd8a85f72cb552b76862c2b9}. The Wolf has never been taken down. This is all the more terrifying when one sees his strikes during offensive ground and pound, 118 strikes (54{317a7769e272dec17b69bda26c6a5a4c5e6799efcd8a85f72cb552b76862c2b9} of his total in strikes in the octagon) which makes him the most vicious submission artist in the division. Draining you out with his smothering ground and pound while positioning himself for a tight guillotine.

When The Wolf Meets Chaos

Now to the meat of the matter of Chimaev Vs Covington. How do both fighters shape up altogether? 

Despite Covington’s best wrestling capacity, Chimaev has been a world champion sambo wrestler for the better part of his life. Many would think this gives the Borz a clear advantage in this matchup. However, Colby has an extremely strong takedown and submission defense that will hopefully see him through to the bell. 

In regards to striking Colby is the better striker with quick movement and strategic distance management. This will be a huge problem for Khamzat with his three-punch, no kicks arsenal. Both fighters have knockout power but Khamzat will always be favored for the knockout with his superior power.

When it comes down to the media scrums and pre-fight conferences, Colby is the King of the UFC only behind Conor McGregor’s mental tactics. Khamzat may easily be influenced and coaxed into an unsanctioned fight.

The Pro Take On Chimaev Vs Covington

The professional analysts, fighters, and speculator’s take on the fight is extremely varying with some pros siding with Colby and others with Chimaev,

Dana White

On Khamzats weight coming up to the next fight;

“…Khamzat wants to fight at 170 lbs. I’m going to give him one more opportunity to fight at 170. He needs to deliver and make the weight. I would love to do that fight in England too. I’m telling you, I’m going to bring a badass card to England. English fans have been incredible. They’re so fun, they bring such great energy.”

Daniel Cormier

“If you schedule him and Khamzat right now… Khamzat would be a massive favorite to beat Alex Pereira. Just because of the style. The style just does not match up yet and Pereira, he’s so young in his career.”

Robert Whittaker

Robert Whittaker’s take on Chimaev Vs Covington, Colby being the underdog;

“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.”

Khamzat Chimaev

Khamzat talks about Whittaker and wanting to train with him;

“I like that guy. I don’t want to fight with good guys. I need some bad guy. I want to train with that guy. He’s really good and one of the best guys in the world. I was watching his fights. I watch how he trains.”

Henry Cejudo 

Henry Cejudo thinks Covington will dominate the fight with his stamina

“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.”

Darren Till

Darren told reporters at UFC 282 media day:

“I think that’s a very good fight, I do, People don’t see Colby [unless] he’s like in the news or media. But I know that he’s a guy that in secret trains really f*cking hard, and he’s like really disciplined. I think if those two were to fight, Khamzat would overpower him, I do.”

“I think his striking is better, and I think when it comes to the wrestling he’d be the powerful one. But obviously, it’d be over five rounds, so he’d have to be really prepared. The trash talk would be fun, his English is getting phenomenally better. Obviously, me and him speak on the daily.…But yeah, it would be a really good fight. A really good fight.”

Stephen Thompson

“I think if it goes five-five, I think Colby’s got it if it goes in the later rounds, just because he’s got cardio for days. And we saw the fight with Khamzat Chimaev and Gilbert Burns, and Chimaev started to fatigue… Cause he killed himself to get down to 170… Will he be able to do it again? I don’t know… But if it goes all five, definitely Colby. He’s got cardio for days”

UFC 286 In The UK

UFC 286 will most likely take place in the United Kingdoms at the O2 Arena headlining The Welterweight Champion Leon Edwards Vs Ex welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman for their third official bout. Khamzat Vs Colby is also expected to happen on March 18th. Though still unofficial, many fighters have received verbal and written offers from the UFC in recent weeks. Flyweight UK star Muhammad Mokaev has alluded to this date as well.

Fight media’s favorite clickbait fighters, Khamzat “Borz” Chimaev is set to meet Colby “Chaos” Covington in mid-March. Will Chaos truly take over the UFC and realize his title dreams behind this top contender’s bout? Or will the Chechnyan Borz unleash the wolves in March? Only time will tell.


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