Masvidal accused “Chaos” of owing money to one of their coaches at American Top Team—those comments themselves a response to Covington saying that Masvidal was jealous of Covington’s success—and Covington refuted the allegations during an appearance on Submission Radio.
In Covington’s eyes, Masvidal is simply attempting to drum up interest in a future fight between the two.
“No, there’s no truth to that. Jorge is drawing at straws right now,” Covington said. “He has nothing else to say about me because he knows he can’t attack my fighting skills because he knows my fighting skills speak for themselves. And to be honest, he’s never won one second of any type of rounds we’ve ever trained together. And he knows that deep down inside. So he’s just looking for something to promote a future fight.
“We may have to fight each other. Former best friends turned foes. And that’s how this sport is. There’s no sports, there’s no friends in this type of sport. It’s an individual sport and it’s business, so we had to part our friendship. And he’s making up lies, man, he’s trying to say that I owe his coach money. And I can show you the receipts. I’ll go get the receipts right now and show you. I overpaid him if anything. The only percentage that I owe is to American Top Team. I pay them five percent every fight, and that’s the only people I have to pay. I have no obligation to pay any other coaches. All the other coaches that I pay is on me if I want to pay them or not, and I always paid his coach, man. I gave him five to ten grand per fight, and I have the receipts too. So, you know, he’s lying, man. He has nothing else to say.”
Covington added that regardless of any perceived or manufactured drama, “it’s just business” and that he maintains a good relationship with his coaches and ATT owner Dan Lambert. He expressed no interest in squabbling with Masvidal outside of the cage, but touched upon the tensions between the two in the gym that arose even before their public spat came to light.
“We were pushing each other in the gym,” Covington said. “We’d yell in the gym, ‘Hey, who’s gonna be the first fighter to get a million-dollar fight,’ this and that. We were competing to push each other to these great limits, and here we are now, and now we have to act like kids? I mean, I’m not acting like a kid, he’s acting like a kid. But here we are, and you can’t be professional and understand this game?
“Yeah, it’s business and we’re not gonna be friends, we’re gonna have to fight each other. But it is what it is, man. Just grow up and let’s not play these childish games where you’re making up lies and you’re saying stupid stuff that isn’t true, let’s just be honest and call things the way they are, call a spade a spade. But apparently that’s hard for him. He’s a Miami little street thug.”
On whether he ever considered leaving ATT, Covington said “this is where I started and this is where I’ll finish” and that “I bleed American Top Team through and through.” He had thought about taking the preparation for his upcoming UFC 245 welterweight championship bout with Kamaru Usman to a private gym, but Lambert assured him that everyone at ATT would be on the same page.
The clarification apparently needed to be made due to some of Covington’s high-profile teammates—including Dustin Poirier and Joanna Jedrzejczyk—being critical of Covington’s behavior. In regards to those opinions, Covington pays them little mind.
“I love it, man. It’s more business now. Now when I walk in the gym, everybody knows what’s going down, you know,” Covington said. “I’m not there to be friends. And I’ve said this since the beginning, guys, I said, ‘I’m not here to make friends, I’m here to make money.’ So, all these people know that it’s about money for me now, it’s not about the friendships. I’m here to train, put my time in, and get out. That’s what it is.
“All these guys are too busy being friends with each other and which social media they’re gonna put and how they’re gonna pose on social media. I’m here to win. Win fights and kick ass and get the biggest checks in the sport today. I’m not settling for anything less. And I could care less about anybody else’s feelings.”
Watch Covington’s full interview with Submission Radio below: