Next month is set to play host to one of the biggest grudge matches possible in the UFC right now. While Covington’s failed championship charge against reigning 170-pound king Kamaru Usman last November included animosity and trash talk, it didn’t have the history “Chaos” shares with Masvidal.
In the UFC 272 main event, former American Top Team teammates, roommates, and friends Covington and Masvidal will share the Octagon. While a fiery affair inside the cage is expected, a hate-fueled fight week and press conference is almost a certainty.
Covington and Masvidal’s friendship collapsed a number of years ago. Ever since, we’ve seen both take jabs at each other on social media and through interviews. However, “Gamebred” has now expanded on the relationship he shared with the former interim titleholder.
During a recent interview with MMA Junkie’s Danny Segura, Masvidal, who still trains at ATT, suggested he never considered Covington his “best friend.” According to the Miami native, his former training partner’s attitude towards his family was a big reason behind that.
“There’s numerous interviews of him calling me his best friend. I really wouldn’t do that because I would see signs—the way he treated his family, the way he’d talk about his sister, the way he talked about his mom,” said Masvidal. “I was like, ‘Mmm…’
“There’s three sides to every story: yours, theirs, and the truth. So I was like, ‘Eh, this guy’s interesting.’”
Masvidal: Covington’s Treatment Of Woodley Revealed His True Character
But Masvidal says Covington’s family remarks weren’t the only red flag. He went on to cite the #1-ranked welterweight’s treatment of former champion Tyron Woodley as another sign he perceived to be a warning of Covington’s true nature.
While Covington has previously claimed “The Chosen One” hired him for his UFC 174 clash with Rory MacDonald simply to tee off on him as a sparring partner, Masvidal has a different side to the story.
According to “Gamebred,” Woodley did a lot to help Covington while he was an amateur, yet Covington still opted to trash his former teammate anyway.
“Woodley, I was there for the whole thing. The Jon Jones (fallout), I wasn’t there in college with them. But the whole Woodley thing, I was,” claimed Masvidal. “Woodley brought him out, he was giving him like $1,000 a week, something crazy like that when this guy was an amateur just to train with him for four weeks—sponsors, food—and then he came back just talking shit about Woodley in a negative way.
“Negative. Not (saying), ‘Man, I got more cardio than him. I got better technical—I’d do against Woodley. I can beat him.’ No, no, no, just talking bad, saying what a piece of crap he was, how many this and how many that and all this nonsense that didn’t need to be said,” Masvidal continued. “So I was like, ‘Man, if this guy’s going around talking about everybody like that, that’s just who he is.’ There’s nobody that he respects whatsoever.”
With those factors combined, Masvidal says he made the decision to begin distancing himself from Covington. In the end, it was a pay dispute between the Californian and his coach that signaled the end of Masvidal and Covington’s friendship.
Given Masvidal’s interview and Covington’s recent posts on social media, it’s clear the pair won’t be waiting for UFC 272 fight week to begin trading barbs.
If this is a taste of things to come, which it likely is, fans are set for an explosive pre-fight back and forth and, hopefully, an entertaining PPV main event.
Who do you think will emerge victorious in the UFC 272 grudge match, Jorge Masvidal or Colby Covington?