Demian Maia and Colby Covington faced off in an epic stylistic clash of stifling wrestle-grapplers tonight (Sat., Oct. 28 2017) from inside Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, broadcast live on Fox Sports 1. Maia had just lost a decision win to the champion, Tyron Woodley, while Covington had won four straight. Covington had been talking an enormous amount of terrible trash in the build-up, and by that I mean he is terrible at trash talk. Maia, meanwhile, remained his serene gentlemanly self. That, however, ended the moment the fight began.

Maia opened with a jab. Covington feinted and hooked. Maia landed a right hand. Covington threw a high switchkick and threw wild hooks at Maia, seemingly intent on knocking Maia out. Maia landed several hard combinations and Colby smiled while backing up. Maia grabbed for a takedown but Covington shucked him off. Maia caught Colby with a right counter. Colby was throwing hard and turned Maia around with a low kick. Maia jabbed, landed a right hand. This was very uncharacteristic for Maia, who was striking with intent. Covington was bleeding over his eye. Covington ate a combination, but pushed forward and landed a left hook. Maia slipped a combination but Colby was unrelenting. Maia covered up as Covington landed two punches. Colby’s low kicks were adding up. Maia landed a right hand and an uppercut. Covington threw five punches. Maia shot in but Covington stuffed him. Maia got back up and Covington pressured forward to end the round.

Maia shot immediately to start the second round, but Covington stuffed it. He covered up as Covington moved forward with an overhand. Maia got a good shot and almost took Covington down, but the American shucked him off again. Maia shot once more, locking his hands around his preferred single-leg. Covington stuffed him and dead-legged out. He tried to roll back and pull guard, but Covington waved him to his feet. Both men looked tired from the first round. Maia threw a one-two that landed. Covington hit two nice overhands, and Maia looked a bit staggered. Maia timed another shot, and Covington locked his arms around Maia’s crotch and fought it off. Another shot from Maia, another stuffed shot. Maia jabbed nicely. Covington returned the favor. Maia slipped a jab. He was looking to counter Covington as the American pushed forward. They traded in the clinch, and Covington put together a combination as the round ended.

Maia jabbed to open round two. Maia’s coach had told him to time Covington, feint takedowns, and throw the right hand. Covington lunged in and was falling just short with his shots. He was undeterred, and landed through Maia’s guard. They traded in the clinch. Maia shot after a left hand by Colby. They were just standing in front of each other throwing hard in the pocket and the single collar tie. Maia looked exhausted. Maia slipped trying to tie Covington up and Colby landed short shots, but Maia stayed with him. Nice knee landed by Maia! Colby went back to his calf kick for the first time in a while. They traded jabs. Covington shift-stepped foward and landed a couple hard straight hands. Maia looked to shoot and Covington stuffed it. Maia was cut very badly, blood all over his face. He was shooting at anything, and rolling to his back just to get it to the ground any way possible. Covington refused to take the bait and stayed in the front headlock position, landing short clubbing punches. The fight came to an end with Maia bloody on the canvas and Covington striding around the Octagon making belt gestures to the boos of the crowd.

In the post-fight interview, amidst an ocean of boos, Covington pushed the translator away to shout,

“Brazil, you’re a dump! All you filthy animals suck! I’ve just got one thing to say: Tyron Woodley, I’m coming for my championship belt!!”

He was then rushed out of the arena as Brazilians threw things at him. That was a memorable win for Covington, another young welterweight announcing himself as a contender in a stacked division.

Official result: Colby Covington def. Demian Maia by unanimous decision (29-27, 30-27, and 29-26)

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