It seems as if we are heading towards another high-profile match-up of former American Top Team teammates, with Dustin Poirier apparently accepting a fight with Colby Covington in the UFC’s welterweight division.
If this goes through, it would be Poirier’s first pro fight at 170 lbs. ‘The Diamond’ is 7-2 (1 NC) in his last ten fights, all of which happened at lightweight. His only losses during that span were in UFC title fights, first to Khabib Nurmagomedov and then—in his most recent fight—to Charles Oliveira.
Poirier’s wins over the last few years include a pair of TKOs over bitter rival Conor McGregor and impressive wins over Max Holloway, Eddie Alvarez and Justin Gaethje.
Despite his success as of late, not everyone thinks it’s a good idea for him to jump up in weight and take on a two-time title challenger. And you can count Michael Bisping as one of those doubters.
“Going up a weight division, going up against Colby Covington, if he loses that, that could have real implications on him getting a title fight again,” Bisping said on his YouTube channel (ht MMA Junkie).
“He wants to be active. He wants to keep earning. He wants to keep fighting, wants to keep making money and setting himself up for the future, which I get, but going up to 170, putting on 15 pounds – well, I say putting on 15 pounds. Not cutting that 15 pounds, but sure enough, fighting at a weight class 15 pounds heavier against one of the top contenders. Whilst me as a fan, I would love to see that, but I don’t know if it’s the smartest move.”
Even though Bisping thinks this would be a risky move for Poirier, he said the reward would be significant if the Louisianan could get a win over ‘Chaos’. However, Bisping added that such a win might be a double-edged sword.
“If he goes out there and he does beat Colby Covington, that makes him one of the top contenders at welterweight, and is that what he wants? Does he want to be fighting (Jorge) Masvidal? Does he want to be fighting Kamaru Usman or even Khamzat Chimaev? I’m not sure that he is. He’s not a small lightweight, he wouldn’t be a small welterweight, but he’d certainly be smaller than those guys.
“And God forbid if he was to lose, I think it would affect his standing in the lightweight division. He was saying that the UFC were offering him a No. 1 contender at lightweight at the end of the year. If he was to lose to Colby … there’s a possibility you lose and there’s a possibility you won’t be in a No. 1 contender fight.”
All things considered, Bisping said he thinks Covington would win in this proposed match-up. ‘The Count’ cited Covington’s size advantage and experience at welterweight.
“He’s by far the better wrestler, gas tank is incredible,” added Bisping. “Dustin is probably a better striker, he’s the more technical boxer and he’s nasty. He’s nasty with the hands. However, Colby Covington is no slouch and he is getting better all the time.”
Covington is coming off a comfortable decision win over Jorge Masvidal in the main event of UFC 272. Prior to that he dropped a decision to UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman.