Following a unanimous decision win over Demian Maia in the co-main event this past Saturday, Covington cut a fiery promo aimed at the Brazilian fans in attendance who he’d been butting heads with all week up until the moment that he’d finally stepped foot in the Octagon to compete. In particular, his description of the country as “a dump” and its people as “filthy animals” drew the ire of those in attendance, UFC officials (who have said that the incident is being reviewed), and even some of Covington’s American Top Team associates back in Florida.
Masvidal has known and trained with Covington for years (the two previously shared an apartment) and he defended his close friend’s behavior during an appearance on The MMA Hour on Monday.
“Did he cross the line, did he go too far? There’s several ways you can look at it,” Masvidal said. “It’s entertainment, right? It’s cool for people, as we’re walking out, to throw s**t. My coach called me before (Covington’s promo) and I don’t know what workout they had done or what, but he said people were even shoving him as he was walking through an open workout. How disrespectful is that? They don’t take into consideration at the end of the day we’re human beings.
“Everybody in Brazil, does he really mean that they’re ‘filthy animals’ or whatever? No, man. But it’s entertainment also and at the same time if you’re getting disrespected, you’re coming over to Miami and people are throwing s**t at you, trying to spit at you, shoving your corners, what’s going to happen, you know? I think he’s all in the right. Especially if that came from his heart, you can’t get mad at him that’s how he feels.”
As for Covington having possibly upset their teammates, “Gamebred” shrugged off the suggestion that the drama could escalate and reiterated that he is 100-percent on Covington’s side even though he’s aware that the aptly nicknamed “Chaos” tends to invite conflict.
“Who gives a f**k what happens? That’s my partner, I’ve got his back, he’s got mine, and don’t nobody want problems at the end of the day, I’ll tell you that right now,” Masvidal said.
“Colby, since I’ve known him, he has a real problem with authority,” he added. “Like, if we get pulled over by the police, I’m like, ‘Yes sir, no sir, sir I’m going to reach into the glove compartment for my license and registration, please don’t shoot me.’ And Colby is like a f**king assh**e, if they give him even just a little bit of attitude, that dude goes haywire. So with authority and stuff, he has a real big problem, you know? That dude is not easy to control.”
The other part of Covington’s post-fight comments that raised eyebrows was his callout of UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley. Covington has made no secret that he’s wanted to battle Woodley for the title, despite the fact that they both train at ATT (though Woodley also spends a considerable amount of time working with the Roufusport team).
Masvidal thinks a fight between Covington and Woodley is a great idea, and though he declined to pick a winner, he’s certain that Covington is a worthy challenger.
“Woodley’s my partner, but Colby’s like my little brother you know, I’m always going to have his back when he goes to compete against others,” Masvidal said. “So I think he’s more than ready.”