Even after a weekend where Israel Adesanya destroyed Paulo Costa and the UFC crowned a new light heavyweight champion, Colby Covington is still finding ways to stay in the headlines.
A week ago, Covington dominated Tyron Woodley at UFC Vegas at UFC Vegas 11, stopping the former champion in the fifth round. Following the win, Covington called for a bout with either current welterweight champion Kamaru Usman or with former-friend-turned-bitter-enemy Jorge Masvidal. Fortunately for Covington, at the UFC 253 press conference this past weekend, Dana White concurred that a fight between Covington and Masvidal was the fight that made the most sense, and Covington couldn’t be happier, if Masvidal will agree to the bout, that is.
“This needs to be settled,” Covington told Submission Radio. “We’re the top fighters in the world, his hype is coming to an end, and I want to be the one to put it to an end. I’m sick of him talking to the media and not having to account for his words. . .
“Dana White came up to me after my fight immediately and said, ‘Hey, we want to do you versus Street Judas Masvidal.’ I accepted right on that night, in that minute. He knows I’m on board, the UFC knows I’m on board, now it’s just about getting Street Judas Masvidal onboard. That guy is scared. He’s scared of my shadow. If my shadow was around him, he’d be running. So who knows if he’ll show up to the octagon. I don’t want to have to beat him up in the streets of Miami because I am the King of Miami, but I don’t want to beat him up in the streets of Miami. because if I beat him up there, no one is going to pay his hospital bills. At least if I go out there and expose him in front of the world in the UFC octagon on live television, then he’ll get his medical bills paid for.”
Covington and Masvidal have a long and sordid history together. Previously teammates and “best friends” at American Top Team, a divide formed between the two fighters as Masvidal began emerging as a star in the UFC, eventually resulting in Covington leaving American Top Team. Since then, the two have constantly attacked each other in the media and, with Masvidal coming off his decision loss to Kamaru Usman earlier this summer, the time may finally be right for them to settle up inside the cage. The issue is that rumors have abounded that Masvidal is interested in another fight with Nate Diaz, a rematch of their ‘BMF’ title bout last year. But Covington says that fight cannot and should not be made.
“The thing is, Jorge is gonna have to show up to fight me one day,” Covington said. “He’s got to pay his ex-wife’s lawyer fees, he’s got to pay alimony payments, he’s got some other payments he’s got to pay, so he’s gonna be broke soon, he’s gonna come running to daddy, and he knows the only money fight he’s getting is me. I’m his money fight. That other fight they’re trying to do with that Soy Boy, they’re not trying to do that fight. That’s just a fight he’s begging for because he won it one-sided and now he’s looking for an easy fight. This is the fight that’s being presented to him, it’s the only fight that should be made, and it’s the biggest fight, probably, that they can make in the UFC right now. It’s a pay-per-view main event, it’s a five-rounder, it’s an exciting matchup with fireworks on the line. I’m not gonna be looking to dance on his feet like Marty Fakenewsman did, I’m gonna be looking to dance on his face, break his face, and he’s leaving that octagon in a body bag. Mark my words.”
The appeal of a Diaz fight is pretty obvious for Masvidal, he was handily winning their first bout before a cut caused the fight to be stopped. A rematch affords Masvidal a marque event in a matchup that he knows he fares well in. It doesn’t, however, get him much closer to another title shot though, which is something Masvidal is adamant that he is after. A win over Covington would do just that and, ‘Chaos’ is even looking to throw in a sweetener for Masvidal: having the fight in his own backyard.
“It’s got to be a PPV main event,” Covington said. “There’s no doubt about it. We’re two of the biggest draws in the company and we just so happen to be in the same weight class, and it just so happens we used to be best friends. . . I think the best place to propose it for would be American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. I think that would be a great ticket and hopefully, by the time fans come back, December or January. It’s perfect, it aligns perfect, and there’s a big market for MMA in Miami. People want to see fighting in Miami and I think the UFC needs to come back to Miami.”
Masvidal was born in Miami and is much beloved in the city. Though there is no set timeline on when the UFC will begin hosting events outside of ‘Fight Island’ or the UFC Apex, there have been some suggestions the UFC could start returning to some semblance of normalcy early next year. With Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently lifting some of the state’s coronavirus restrictions, and publicly announcing an interest in hosting sporting events with full fan bases again soon, Miami could certainly make sense as a destination for the UFC, and headlining a Miami event with a Jorge Masvidal fight is a no-brainer. So, according to Covington, the only thing that might not add up to a happy ending for eveyrone is Masvidal himself.
“It’s all in Street Judas Masvidal’s court,” Covington said. “He doesn’t want this fight because he knows what’s going to happen, deep down inside. He can say whatever he wants, he said a lot of stuff before, but if you guys didn’t notice, look at him now. He’s silent. He’s got nothing to say because he knows what’s coming, he knows what’s in front of him. He knows he’s gonna get embarrassed in front of the world.”