As far as Colby Covington is concerned, nothing Demian Maia can do at UFC Fight Night 119 will come as a surprise.
Covington and Maia meet October 28 from the Ginasio do Ibirapuera in Sao Paulo, Brazil as the co-main event to Lyoto Machida’s return vs. Derek Brunson.
Riding a four-fight win streak that has moved his overall record to 12-1, Covington believes his training at American Top Team in Florida has him prepared for Maia, who is a fourth-degree black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
“I feel Maia is a great match up for me,” Covington told FightLine recently. “He will try to take me down to the ground, but I have been preparing my whole life wrestling and defending takedowns, so I believe I can nullify his attacks and completely out-class him on the feet in the striking department.”
Covington, who was a standout at Iowa Central Community College with fellow fighters Jon Jones and Joe Soto before moving on to compete at Oregon State University, downed Dong Hyun Kim this past June. He’s also topped Bryan Barberena, Max Griffin and Jonathan Meunier since his first pro loss to Warlley Alves back in 2015.
“Luckily for me, I’m at the world’s greatest MMA gym in American Top Team, so we have the highest level of black belt Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighters there to prepare me for Maia’s attacks,” Covington said.
Maia (25-7) had his seven-fight win streak snapped this past July when he lost a decision to UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley. He earned victories over Jorge Masvidal, Carlos Condit, Matt Brown and Gunnar Nelson during his run.