Saturday’s fight between “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler and Colby “Chaos” Covington is bound to be one to remember, as the former welterweight champions are fighting for more than a victory. This time, it’s personal.
After a controversial stoppage at UFC 235, where Ben Askren submitted Lawler, “Ruthless” slid down the UFC welterweight rankings to spot #11. He graciously accepted the result, and insists the stain on his record no longer troubles him. Lawler is here to fight.
If Lawler represents the romanticized notion of a down-to-earth fighter with a pure passion for the sport, then Colby Covington is the Apollo Creed to his Rocky. Covington’s penchant for dramatics has long been part of his style, and the posturing is out in full force for this heated match. In lieu of open workouts, Covington answered questions amidst a backdrop of beautiful women. “Chaos” also strode into the venue with a woman on each arm and a welterweight belt slung over his flexed shoulders. If fight week is any indication, Covington is certain to bring trash talk and taunts into the Octagon.
There’s no motivation quite as powerful as revenge. And for Covington, this fight is a chance to defend the training team he calls family. He and Lawler were former teammates at Florida's America Top Team for nearly half a decade, before Lawler left in 2017. “Chaos” claims Lawler’s sore pride and spats with the founder led him to leave the team, and he is impatient to right this perceived wrong.
Highlighting the co-main event is Jim “A10” Miller. The 35-year-old already holds records for the most victories (18), submission wins (8), and fight time (5:05:49) in lightweight division history, and Saturday marks Miller’s 33rd fight for the UFC, the most in company history. But the New Jersey native won’t be slowing down anytime soon, saying he’ll know when he reaches his last fight and this isn’t it.
The Newark card features a fight between southpaw prospects Joaquim Silva and Nasrat Haqparast. The latter brings unprecedented speed to the Octagon, using his rapid fire punches to deliver KOs in eight of his 12 wins. Conversely, Silva is all power. The Brazilian’s punches are deadly, and Haqparast will have to rely on his speed to avoid Silva’s hands. The lightweight match is sure to be a brutal battle, as these two up-and-comers are desperate to break into the rankings.