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UFC 272: Best Friends for Never

From projected PPV buys and gate revenue to the bad blood at the top of the card, everything about UFC 272 just feels different than your typical fight card. Let’s get into Covington vs. Masvidal.

UPDATE 3/6: UFC 272 generated $6,760,000 in announced live gate revenue with an attendance of 19,425.

Friends become enemies. Training partners become bitter adversaries. Teammates become bent on reconfiguring each other’s key facial features with seven-figure bags on the line.

Once sworn brothers under the American Top Team banner who did just about everything together — they were even roommates for a while — Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington ride into UFC 272 in Las Vegas in the midst of one of combat sports’ nastiest feuds. As their rivalry comes to a head Saturday, the fire burns hot enough to justify the UFC’s first pay-per-view main event with no title belt on the line in more than two years.

Let’s get set for “Chaos” vs. “Gamebred” at UFC 272, including a betting odds overview and a look back at PPV buys and gate receipts from past cards with prize fights so compelling that they didn’t require a championship on the line.

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Here’s what should be on your radar Saturday night in Vegas:

  • Covington (-355 at FanDuel) vs. Masvidal (+270) in a non-title welterweight (170-pound) bout
  • Former lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos (-170) taking on late replacement Renato Moicano (+138) in a clash of Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioners at a catchweight of 160 pounds
  • Marina Rodriguez (-280) vs. Yan Xioanan (+220) in a fight with major championship implications at strawweight (115 pounds)
  • The return of former Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy (+164), who meets Moldova’s “Polar Bear,” Sergey Spivak (-205)

It’s not often that you get an entire UFC pay-per-view card with zero title fights, but such is the extent to which the organization has gone all-in on pumping up the bad blood between Masvidal and Covington.

And while the oddsmakers favor Covington better than 3-to-1, no one’s arguing that the hype and the narrative aren’t purpose-built for a five-round showcase.

That’s good news, because the title picture in the welterweight division lacks an overly obvious way forward. Both of Saturday’s main event combatants are 0-2 against 170-pound champion Kamaru Usman, and while Covington is officially the No. 1 contender in the UFC’s official rankings, he fell short against “The Nigerian Nightmare” as recently as November 2021 in a close but ultimately unanimous decision.

Method of victory betting odds for UFC 272: Covington vs. Masvidal via FanDuel Sportsbook (as of March 3)

Though Masvidal is the older man at 37 and far, far less likely to earn himself another title shot before his swang-and-bang days are done, Covington is actually the one facing more pressure to take care of business. Masvidal is one of the few fighters in all of mixed martial arts whose brand and marketability exist almost entirely unmoored from his win-loss record. So while that doesn’t mean a third straight defeat would be good for this final stage of his career, his fate is sealed as a moneymaker regardless.

After all, it’s no shock that the last non-title fight main event at a UFC pay-per-view featured “Street Jesus” himself.

Last 5 UFC PPVs Featuring Scheduled Non-Title Main Events

UFC 244
  • Date: Nov. 2, 2019
  • Venue: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
  • Main event: Jorge Masvidal defeats Nate Diaz
  • Gate revenue: $6,575,996
  • PPV buys: Not publicized
UFC 202
  • Date: Aug. 20, 2016
  • Venue: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Main event: Conor McGregor defeats Nate Diaz
  • Gate revenue: $7,700,810
  • PPV buys: 1,650,000
 UFC 196
  • Date: March 5, 2016
  • Venue: MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Main event: Nate Diaz defeats Conor McGregor
  • Gate revenue: $8,197,628
  • PPV buys: 1,317,000
UFC 183
  • Date: Jan. 31, 2015
  • Venue: MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Main event: Anderson Silva defeats Nick Diaz
  • Gate revenue: $4,500,000
  • PPV buys: 650,000
UFC 147
  • Date: June 23, 2012
  • Venue: Mineirinho Arena, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
  • Main event: Rich Franklin defeats Wanderlei Silva
  • Gate revenue: Not publicized
  • PPV buys: 140,000

NOTE: This list excludes UFC 225 (Robert Whittaker vs. Yoel Romero 2) and UFC 221 (Luke Rockhold vs. Yoel Romero), which were both scheduled as championship bouts but became non-title fights after Romero missed weight. It also excludes UFC 234 (Israel Adesanya vs. Anderson Silva), UFC 161 (Rashad Evans vs. Dan Henderson), and UFC 153 (Anderson Silva vs. Stephan Bonnar), which featured co-main events that were bumped up after originally scheduled main events were scratched.

UFC 272 Fight Card

Main Card (10 p.m. ET, ESPN+ PPV)

Welterweight: Colby Covington vs. Jorge Masvidal
Catchweight (160 lb): Rafael dos Anjos vs. Renato Moicano
Men’s featherweight: Edson Barboza vs. Bryce Mitchell
Welterweight: Kevin Holland vs. Alex Oliveira
Heavyweight: Sergey Spivak vs. Greg Hardy

Prelims (8 p.m. ET, ESPN & ESPN+)

Lightweight: Jalin Turner vs. Jamie Mullarkey
Strawweight: Marina Rodriguez vs. Yan Xiaonan
Light heavyweight: Nicolae Negumereanu vs. Kennedy Nzechukwu
Women’s flyweight: Maryna Moroz vs. Mariya Agapova

Early Prelims (6 p.m. ET, ESPN+ & UFC Fight Pass)

Men’s featherweight: Brian Kelleher vs. Umar Nurmagomedov
Men’s flyweight: Tim Elliott vs. Tagir Ulanbekov
Men’s flyweight: Alex Perez vs. Matt Schnell
Lightweight: Devonte Smith vs. Δ½udovΓ­t Klein
Light heavyweight: MichaΕ‚ Oleksiejczuk vs. Dustin Jacoby

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