The friends-turned-foes have been on a collision course for a while. It appeared the fight would come to fruition when UFC president Dana White revealed it was in the works last September, but the matchup never materialized.
In a recent interview with ESPN, Masvidal (35-14 MMA, 14-8 UFC), who will rematch welterweight champion Kamaru Usman at UFC 261, was asked why the fight with Covington didn’t happen. “Gamebred” had a simple response.
“Because Colby’s a b*tch,” Masvidal said. “They offered him good money, and then the Colby deal was that we already knew we had the Usman fight. They already told me, ‘Hey, you have the Usman fight.’ So why am I going to fight the second-place guy that got his jaw broken, left running out of the ring, didn’t talk for months on Twitter because he got his jaw broken? Why don’t I go fight the guy that broke his jaw?
“Because I’ve already been beating the crap out of Colby for God knows how long. I’m going to beat the crap out of him, too, before my career is done. But I’m going to fight the biggest and the best fights possible, then I’ll come down to these JV motherf**kers.”
Masvidal insists he wants to punish Covington (16-2 MMA, 11-2 UFC). Masvidal, who emerged as one of the sport’s biggest stars with a breakout 2019, helped generate a reported 1.3 million pay-per-view buys when he fought Usman the first time last July. He wants to continue chasing the biggest opportunities available but vows Covington’s time will come if they remain on each other’s radars.
“With Colby, it’s like somebody that I really can’t stand, so I really want to hurt this guy in a way that I’ve never done,” Masvidal said. “I want to make it seem like the Ben Askren fight was merciful compared to what I’m going to do to Colby, guaranteed. And that fight will take place, but when I say so. Because remember: Who the f**k is Colby?
“He fought Usman, generated I think under 300,000 pay-per-views. What did he do with Woodley? He just doesn’t generate. So I’m going to go get this title, I’m going to keep generating more views, more knockouts, more violence, and then I’m going to take it all out on Colby at some point as long as he could win. If he could win, he’s dead.”
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The pair were rumored to coach the next season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” but Masvidal says he was never going to agree because he’d wind up in jail if he had to face Covington for that long. In fact, Masvidal revealed he almost came to blows with Covington, which resulted in both men getting booted out of the gym when they trained together at American Top Team.
“I got kicked out of the gym for trying to assault him one time,” Masvidal said. “I used to go to spots that he would frequent a lot and got the police called on me and things like that. I know a lot of people think, ‘Man, you’re an idiot. You’re a professional fighter. Why would you do that?’ Because I f**king feel like it and nobody tells me what to do. It is more loyalty to me. You can’t do something wrong to someone that I love. It’s just not going to happen.
“Not now. I’m back. They brought my ass back. They suspended us both. Our general chief-in-commander Dan Lambert had put kind of like a rule like, ‘If you don’t have a bout agreement signed, I don’t want nobody talking crap to nobody in the team,’ you know.”
Masvidal says Lambert had his back in the altercation, which resulted in Covington departing the team for fellow Florida-based gym MMA Masters.
“Colby had said like numerous things to me already,” Masvidal said. “He’s the one that always said little puns here and there, and I was just completely ignoring him like, ‘Uh, whatever,’ you know. ‘I’ll see you when I see you, right?’ And then I had enough one day, and I said something back, and it got us both kicked out.
“I talked to Dan about it and he was like, ‘You’re right, this guy’s a piece of sh*t. He’s got to go. I’m going to bring you right back, where you’ve always been and where you belong, and let this f**king coward f**king sink elsewhere.”