UFC welterweight Stephen Thompson has predicted Colby Covington will defeat rising star Khamzat Chimaev.
The UFC are expected to book a 170lb clash between former interim champion, Covington, and No.3 ranked Chimaev.
Chimaev’s six-fight run in the UFC has been sensational, only ever facing adversity when taking on Gilbert Burns, who at the time was ranked No.2, in a bout he would ultimately win. The Chechen’s strong wrestling, submission game and punching power has garnered him a fearsome reputation, but one half of this week’s main event, Stephen Thompson, backs Covington to get the victory.
Talking to Submission Radio, Thompson feels that Chimaev’s weight issues could play a role in how the fight plays out.
“I’m not really sure if that will happen,” Thompson began “I don’t think Colby wants it, obviously, and especially against a guy that hasn’t made weight. So, I don’t blame him.
“If it does happen, 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 Chimaev and Gilbert Burns, and Chimaev started to fatigue. And I don’t know if that’s because he did make weight, right? And he was depleted? Cause he killed himself to get down to 170. Will he be able to do it again? I don’t know.
“If he doesn’t make weight, I wouldn’t fight him,” Thompson continued. “I would say no. But if it does [happen], if Chimaev wins, it’s gonna have to be early on in the rounds. But if it goes all five, definitely Colby. He’s got cardio for days, and Chimaev is just a big 170-er man. He shouldn’t even be a 170, he should be up at 185.” (H/T MMA Mania)
Thompson will take on Kevin Holland in the main event of UFC Fight Night Orlando this Saturday night. ‘Wonderboy’ will hope to get back into the win column in what will be a far more stylistically favorable matchup, after facing two strong wrestlers his last two times out.