Prior to 2020, Covington trained at American Top Team, the same gym as Masvidal. With the likes of Conan Silveira in his corner, “Chaos” attempted to reach the welterweight mountaintop at UFC 245 in 2019. In a competitive and enthralling affair, the former interim champion took Usman to the limit. After some clean shots led to a final-round TKO, “The Nigerian Nightmare” had successfully defended his belt for the first time. Covington has continued to lay heavy blame for the defeat on his ATT corner.
Now training under the likes of Daniel Valverde and Cesar Carneiro over at MMA Masters, “Chaos” will look to have undisputed welterweight gold wrapped around his waist for the first time on the second attempt. He’ll run it back with the dominant champion in the main event of UFC 268 this weekend.
Masvidal Doesn’t Believe Team Switch Will Help Covington
Despite Covington believing his new camp and fresh perspective will prove crucial inside Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, Usman has also developed a new partnership. For his last few fights, he’s trained under the tutelage of renowned coach Trevor Wittman. He’s also trained alongside lightweight contender Justin Gaethje and UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion Rose Namajunas, who will also both be in action at UFC 268.
As well as Gaethje, fellow former title challenger Masvidal has predicted another successful defense for Usman. Speaking on ATT’s Punchin’ In podcast, “Gamebred” slammed Covington’s new team, branding them as “yes men.” With that in mind, and having not seen any improvements from Covington since his 2019 defeat to the champ, Masvidal expects Usman to have his hand raised again.
“I think who is gonna win and who I want to win is Usman… I mean, the team that he’s at right now is just a bunch of yes men. They’re just telling him yes to whatever he says. You can tell by the attitudes and stuff. I just, I don’t think He’s gonna do anything different. I think it’s gonna get worse and worse. I don’t see that his grappling’s got any better. He’s gonna have to grapple with Usman if he wants to get him down and Usman can wrestle back into him a little bit. I can see Colby getting tired and then Usman landing some big shots.”
Despite many hoping to see Masvidal and Covington, two former friends and teammates, settle their beef inside the Octagon, the 36-year-old has made it clear that the fight he desires the most right now is a trilogy with Usman. With that in mind, it’s no surprise to see him rooting for “The Nigerian Nightmare” this weekend.
“Gamebred” will be hoping to move a step closer to returning to title contention when he faces #3-ranked contender Leon Edwards at UFC 269 on December 11.
Do you agree with Jorge Masvidal? Do you think Kamaru Usman will defeat Colby Covington again?