UFC on ESPN 5 Preview

ufc-espn5The entertainment era in the UFC officially began with the introduction of Conor McGregor but there were those who did what he did before he came.

What McGregor perfected was selling fights as he became the biggest fighter in UFC history because of his ability to make people watch.

He wasn’t necessarily the best ever as he won multiple titles but never defended the belt and lost twice.

Still, he remains the biggest draw in the UFC and he hasn’t fought in almost two years all because of his ability to make people pay attention.

He is far from the first to try to grab attention and unlike the polarizing effect that McGregor has, splitting the fan base almost down the middle, many took the WWE heel approach.

One of the best ever was Chael Sonnen who found a way to become the enemy of the UFC.

He talked so much trash that he put himself into big fights despite the fact that he came out of almost nowhere.

Although he was a good fighter he wasn’t making enough noise in his career to get the truly big fights.

That was until he began talking and calling out fighters who were far above him in the rankings.

He made enough noise to get some major fights and become one of the biggest names in the sport.

Although McGregor remains the biggest draw and the best salesman in the business there is one fighter taking the Sonnen approach.

That approach is coming straight from the mind of Sonnen as Colby Covington is a protégé of Sonnen.

When first starting out Sonnen was a major part of Covington’s career and acted as a mentor to the young fighter.

It can only be assumed that Sonnen gave him advice both in and out of the octagon letting him know how to become a name in the UFC.

Covington was much the same as Sonnen, seemingly coming out of nowhere to become the most hated man in the UFC.

Where McGregor tends to have his massive fans and his haters, Covington seems to have far more people who want him to lose.mma-sidebar.fw

Either way, though he is getting people to watch and he is playing his role perfectly trash-talking everyone in his division and the UFC itself.

In one of his smarter turns, he has embraced the polarizing President Trump wearing Make American Great Again hats and visiting the White House after winning the interim welterweight belt.

By all accounts, it is an act as many people who know Covington claim that he is a very good guy and that his persona is different when the camera is on.

Much like Sonnen, Covington is playing a character when he is interviewed and even though it seems sure that it would be better to be liked there is little doubt that being hated works just as well.

It has made him a part of the welterweight conversation for the last few years and after a very public spat with the UFC and UFC president Dana White he finally returns to the octagon.

After being stripped of the interim belt he is now on the hunt for a shot at the title that he was promised after beating Rafael Dos Anjos.

He will face a stiff test in Robbie Lawler who has put on some major shows despite losing two straight.

He remains one of the best welterweights in the UFC and with a habit of putting on bonus-earning fights, he remains near the top of the division.

At any point in time, Lawler can end the fight and his toughness is what has made him a name in the world of MMA.

Covington will likely find it hard to put him out quickly and it is always a good bet that if Lawler is involved the Fight of the Night is a possibility.

Covington has been able to sell fights well as most people will tune in to watch him lose but he has backed up everything he has said.

With a six-fight win streak intact, Covington is one of the top fighters in the division and a win over Lawler will put him back into the title hunt.


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