With the next set of UFC shows heading back to Fight Island, UFC Fight Night 178 was a heck of a way to sign off the promotion's recent run in Las Vegas.
Unlike the other recent UFC shows, we only got one last-minute change due to COVID-19. And what looked like an excellent card on paper completely delivered in execution, with just four of the fights on offer going the distance.
Overall, this was a pay-per-view level card from the UFC, and it didn't let us down. Here are the best and worst moments from UFC Fight Night 178: Covington vs. Woodley.
#1 Best: Chimaev's hype train shows no sign of slowing down
While the majority of people – myself included – figured that Khamzat Chimaev would be able to pick up his third UFC win this weekend, a number also felt like the Chechen fighter was overlooking experienced opponent Gerald Meerschaert.
'GM3' had nearly nine times the fights that his opponent had coming into last night's clash, including 11 appearances in the UFC. But for 'Borz,' it didn't matter. He walked right across the cage, nailed Meerschaert with a picture-perfect right hook, and had his hand raised after just 17 seconds.
Simply put, this was a ridiculously good performance.
People will point to Israel Adesanya and Conor McGregor as the last two fighters who found stardom this quickly, but I think the better comparison for Chimaev is Khabib Nurmagomedov. The current UFC Lightweight champion entered the promotion with a similar reputation for violence, and like Chimaev, he took out plenty of lower-ranked opponents as he climbed the ladder.
Chimaev’s KO of Meerschaert in fact was reminiscent of Khabib’s own KO of Thiago Tavares back in 2013.
Next up for 'Borz' is apparently Demian Maia, and while the veteran Brazilian promises to provide a sterner test for Chimaev, it'd be hard to justify picking him right now. Chimaev simply appears to be performing on a different level entirely to his opponents, even in the UFC. The hype is for real.
#1 Worst: Covington's dull win may harm his UFC title hopes
While Colby Covington's win over former UFC Welterweight champ Tyron Woodley in the main event was impressive, that doesn't mean it was entertaining. In fact, particularly in comparison to most of the fights on tap last night, it was dull.
Sure, 'Chaos' won every round of the fight, taking Woodley down at times and out-striking him standing, but it just wasn't much fun to watch. A grinder by nature, Covington lived up to that reputation, and while he picked up a finish, it was due to a freakish injury more than anything else.
Put simply, his win over Woodley wasn't close to being as impressive as Gilbert Burns' win over the former UFC champ back in May.
Covington's behavior post-fight was a turn-off, too. He screamed that he "wanted his belt back" when he never actually held the full UFC title – only an interim belt. Covington then spewed rhetoric against "woke athletes" and Joe Biden. He even slung racist insults towards current UFC champ Kamaru Usman on the post-fight show.
Will this win be enough to earn him another crack at 'The Nigerian Nightmare'? If we're frank, it shouldn't, as Burns should still be ahead of him in the queue for a title shot.
The unfortunate truth is that 'Chaos' almost has to rely on an OTT persona – and often, questionable rhetoric – because last night's fight just wasn't that great to watch.