June 21, 2017

UFC Fight Night 111: Colby Covington Has Put the Welterweight Division On Notice

By Raphael Garcia

At UFC Fight Night 111, Colby Covington put the welterweight division on notice. The 29-year-old American Top Team fighter earned his most important victory to date and did so in a dominating fashion over Dong Hyun Kim. If they weren’t already, the rest of the welterweight division needs to pay attention to Covington or they will find themselves on the wrong side of his surge towards the top.

Covington is yet another entry into the long line of successful NCAA wrestlers that have found themselves transitioning to mixed martial arts. While Covington didn’t win a wrestling title during his time at Oregon State University, his abilities on the mat did not go unrecognized. That same aggressive style has pushed him to build a 12-1 professional MMA record at a time when the welterweight division is wide open for the taking.

Before UFC Fight Night 111, Dong Hyun Kim was a mainstay at the top of the 170-pound rankings. During his near ten-year stint with the UFC, Kim has defeated nearly everyone that stood in his way. In fact, he’s only lost to two champions in Tyron Woodley and Carlos Condit (interim), and to Demian Maia, a man who’s a former middleweight title challenger and widely considered the number-one contender to Woodley’s belt. Even with such a wealth of success behind Kim, that didn’t stop Covington from dominating him in every facet of their battle before securing the decision victory. This is the exact type of win that puts fighters on the fast track to recognition within one of the most popular divisions in the sport, and Covington is aware of that fact.

“I’m dominating these guys. I just dominated the number 7 guy in the world. No one’s dominated him like this. This is officially the embarrassment tour,” Covington said as reported by Tristen Critchfield of Sherdog. “I completely embarrassed him in Asia tonight, and I’m going to keep embarrassing the whole division. It doesn’t matter how I beat them. The way I’m beating them, this is easy money bro.”

The rest of the division needs to recognize the type of threat that Covington poses. He has the wrestling base to control where the fight takes place and he’s developing his striking skills well. At one point in his fight with Kim he staggered the Judoka with both hands and followed it up with a flying knee, finishing off the combination. As Covington becomes more comfortable on the feet he’ll pose an even bigger threat to his opponents.

Although Covington’s name isn’t mentioned alongside those on the organization’s Top 15 list, that will undoubtedly change soon, as the man known as “Chaos” plans to bring just that to his peers. With this win at UFC Fight Night 111, no one should be surprised if Covington is placed into a big fight in the near future, and his opponents can’t feign ignorance as the embarrassment tour hits full stride.

UFC Fight Night 111: Holm vs. Correia took place June 17, 2017 at Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore.

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