Not too many people are chomping at the bit to face Chimaev (10-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC), but Covington has been rather dismissive of him, suggesting the highly touted prospect is being overhyped.
Covington (16-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC) said the door is open for a Chimaev fight. McCarthy thinks the former title challenger is tactically trying to fight Chimaev now before he has to eventually – but is wrong for banking on his inexperience.
“Colby’s keeping his eye on things and he’s saying, ‘You might want to get him early in his UFC career and touch him up and try to get past him so you can say, “I’ve dealt with him – there’s no reason to fight him again,”‘” McCarthy said on his “Weighing In” podcast. “That might be a good way of looking at it, but it also might be that you’re not giving that guy enough credit. He’s damn good and he can wrestle with you, no doubt.
“He’s a better striker than Colby, and so it’s hard to say if his cardio can match Colby’s – and that may be what Colby is looking at, is, ‘Hey, I can push this guy and push him to break.’ And maybe he can, but it ain’t going to be an easy out. This is not one that you can sit there and say, ‘Oh, that’s a good idea – get him while he’s in that position that he doesn’t know anything or isn’t smart enough or isn’t going to bring in the same fight IQ as you can bring into (a fight).’”
Covington is coming off another tightly contested loss to UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman at UFC 268. Unbeaten Chimaev continued to run through opposition with a quick submission win of Li Jingliang at UFC 267.