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colby covington

For Colby Covington, two straight fights inside the Octagon have resulted in a pair of submission finishes.

Covington (7-0) returns to action this month against Mike Pyle at UFC 187 in a he described to FightLine during a recent interview as “the biggest opportunity of my life.”

After winning his first five pro bouts, the American Top Team welterweight signed with the UFC in 2014. He promptly was shipped over to China, where he finished Wang Anying inside of the first round.

Covington’s second bout was vs. Wagner Silva in Silva’s home country of Brazil, as he once again locked up a submission via rear-naked choke.

Since November, though, the former Iowa Central Community College and Oregon State University wrestling standout has been bettering his craft in Florida.

“I keep busy between fights by just focusing on areas that I need to get better,” Covington said. “It is nice to have friends that are fighting in the UFC because that definitely keeps you motivated.”

Prior to landing with the UFC, Covington fought once in Oregon and four times in Florida. Four of those five were also submission finishes.

While training and waiting for his next fight, Covington decided to use social media to try and land a meeting with fellow rising 170-pounder Tim Means. That didn’t come together, as Means accepted a fight with Matt Brown.

“I was just trying to stir the pot in hope for a fight with Tim,” he said. “I know it’s a good style match up for me.”

On the subject of social media, Covington stated that it is a “huge” tool for fighters to use.

“The more fans you get, the quicker the UFC will push you for big fights and want to market you,” he added. “(But) it definitely can hurt fighters if they aren’t saying the right things and (are) causing controversy.”

Some of that “talk” on Twitter involved his ATT teammate Jorge Masvidal. Covington was in his corner during a fight with Al Iaquinta that resulted in a controversial decision loss for Masvidal.

“I thought the decision was a joke and I think everyone knows who really won that fight,” he said. “But you can’t leave it in the judges hands because everyone knows the crooked nature of the sport.”

Another teammate of Covington’s, Robbie Lawler, will be defending the very title he is chasing later this year vs. Rory MacDonald.

“I have to go with my teammate and friend Lawler taking the belt back (to ATT),” he said. “He knows what it takes to win and will find a way to beat MacDonald again.”

manny pacquiao

Floyd Mayweather upped his career record to a perfect 48-0 Saturday night in Las Vegas, earning a decision over Manny Pacquiao in a bout many billed as the “Fight of the Century.”

Mayweather, using his incredible defense and quick lands, retained the WBA (super), WBC and The Ring welterweight titles, while also winning the WBO welterweight belt from Pacquaio (57-6-2).

The scores were 116-112, 116-112 and 118-110 in favor of “Money.” Mayweather landed 148 punches to just 81 by Pacquiao.

Mayweather, who credited Pacquiao after the fight for being a “hell of a fighter,” also said that he will compete for the final time this September.

“My last fight is in September, then it’s time for me to hang it up,” he said. “I’m almost 40 years old. I’ve been in the sport 19 years. I’ve been world champion for 18. I’m truly thankful and I’m blessed.”

Leo Santa Cruz scored a decision over Anthoy Settoul in the co-main event, while Vasyl Lomachenko defended his WBO featherweight title with a ninth-round knockout of Gamalier Rodriguez. Also, Jesse Hart stopped Mike Jimenez via TKO in the sixth to become the USBA super middleweight champion.

The card will re-air on HBO this coming Saturday night.

georges st-pierre

Former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre admits that the fire to compete inside the Octagon is coming back.

But he isn’t about ready to declare himself back in the welterweight division.

St-Pierre appeared on a recent edition of “UFC Tonight” to discuss his plans, and the French-Canadian remained uncommitted to competing again for the promotion.

“It’s not interesting for me right now,” he said. “I’m not sure. I just really don’t know. That’s why I didn’t say if I’m retired yet. I just don’t know.”

The 33-year-old has returned to working out and training at Tristar Gym following knee surgery and filming movie roles, but that is just the start of a long process if he is to fight again.

St-Pierre’s last appearance inside the Octagon came in 2013 when he defended his title with a split decision victory over Johny Hendricks. He vacated the belt shortly after that fight, which was his ninth successful title defense.

“I want to sit back, relax and watch the show,” he said. “More and more, I have more fun in training and the fire is coming back. But it should be a rational decision as well.”

Jon Jones

Brian Stann was once a teammate of Jon Jones at Jackson-Winkeljohn in New Mexico.

Stann, a member of the FOX Sports announce team, appeared on a recent edition of “UFC Tonight” to provide insight into the mind of the former UFC light heavyweight champion.

“I’d love to say I was shocked, but I was not,” Stann said. “On a scale from one-to-10, probably a four of a five.

“I was shocked at the details surrounding it and how it went down.”

Previously, Jones was found to have cocaine metabolites in his system during a random drug test late in 2014 prior to facing Daniel Cormier. Also, he had a driving under the influence charge previously in his UFC career.

Despite that, Stann doesn’t think Jones is a “bad guy.”

“I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t witness him act with kindness and caring and be a person with character,” he said. “In his loss to Matt Hamill, which was a simple rule break, he handled it with class and care. When he first came into that gym, people knew there was something unique about him. He had a lot more to lose than everyone around him, and the leaches came out who wanted to take something from him early on and he dealt with a lot of temptation.

“He’s very lucky. This is the second time he’s been in an automobile accident and somebody could have died. That’s an unfixable mistake.”

The UFC stripped him of his title and suspended him until all of the legal actions play out, leaving Jones away from the sport he has dominated for several years. Many wondered what the promotion would do, but they quickly made the move to distance themselves from “Bones.”

“I was surprised how quickly it happened. If you care about Jon, and saw this coming at some point, you are happy with it,” he said. “This is the only way for him to realize there’s a problem. This is a massive embarrassment and a huge loss of money. And he’s lost his right to work. If you care about him, you wanted something to happen that would make him reevaluate how he lives his life and make the appropriate changes.”

jose aldo

With the news that Jon Jones had been suspended and stripped of his UFC light heavyweight title, the official pound-for-pound rankings feature a No. 1 fighter.

Jose Aldo, the reigning featherweight champion, moved into that top spot, followed by champions Demetrious Johnson, Chris Weidman, Cain Velasquez, Ronda Rousey, T.J. Dillashaw, Rafael dos Anjos and Robbie Lawler.

Jones, who is involved in an alleged hit-and-run, has been taken off the rankings completely. The light heavyweight division will crown a new champion at UFC 187 when Anthony Johnson faces off against Daniel Cormier.

Several other changes were made to the rankings, as Max Holloway moved ahead of Cub Swanson and into fifth at featherweight. Darren Elkins and Hacran Dias each climbed two spots, as well, at 145 pounds.

Josh Thomson and Eddie Alvarez flipped for ninth at lightweight, while Michael Bisping and Thales Leites did the same at middleweight and Aljamain Sterling and Bryan Caraway at bantamweight.

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson made his return recently, and did the same in the rankings, debuting back at No. 10.

Maryna Moroz, Felice Herrig and Jessica Eye each moved up a spot in the women’s rankings.

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