These days, those are the necessary steps to keep the UFC welterweight rivals from fighting every day, according to Masvidal. Ever since an acrimonious split in public, Masvidal said he’s tried to make Covington answer for his words.
”I (expletive) with him all the time,” Masvidal told reporters during a media scrum in support of his “BMF” title fight at UFC 244. “I’m the type of guy if you say something right now, whenever I see you, I’m going to hold you to that. It’s just who I’ve been since I was a kid until right now.
”At any given moment, if I see my bully, the guy who’s trying to conquer me, we’re going to find out. And if we could fight every time we came across each other, we would. He knows it. That’s why he runs away from me.”
So far, Masvidal said, he hasn’t had a chance to directly confront Covington, though not for lack of trying.
”I go where he eats and wait for him,” Masvidal said. “He doesn’t eat at these places no more, because I’m going there to eat, and this little b*tch is nowhere to be seen. These are places that he constantly used to eat at. He knows that I know, so I’ve been at these places, just wanting to have a talk with him, man to man.
”I heard he’s only doing Uber Eats. Not like I’m going to assault him or nothing. That’s not me. I just want to talk to him man to man.”
So, what would Masvidal say if he got the chance?
”Just ask him some questions, man to boy,” he said. “Like, why after I let you sleep on my couch, you ate off my food, I helped you get (MMA media interviews), all these things, why would you turn on me just for a Facebook like? Are you that much of a b*tch? And I’m that much of an idiot. Truly, the mistake is on me, because I’m the f*cker that let him.”
Masvidal claims the catalyst for the rivalry was a coach he alleges was stiffed by Covington after a training camp. The two went their separate ways personally. Then, the media got involved, and soon the two were lobbing insults during interviews.
Masvidal said he’s lobbied ATT owner Dan Lambert to let them settle things in the gym. But so far, that request has been denied.
”My argument with Dan and the company is, we’re both men, we both know how to defend ourselves,” Masvidal said. “When I see him, and he sees me, let’s just handle it, and let it be what it is, because that is my city, and I’m very polite to him. Because with the snap of fingers, I could have five cars packed to the teeth with individuals that make sure he never comes back. I don’t do that. I want to handle it man to man. He won’t give me that. I really want to talk to him and tell him, ‘What is your f*cking problem?’ He won’t do that. He’s a coward.
”Just like (UFC welterweight Tyron) Woodley says, he hides in corners when he was at the gym, that’s what he does. But when (the media) is around and a couple security guards, man, that dude is a pitbull all of a sudden.”
Masvidal had started his media scrum with a declaration he’s given at every fight-week interview, ordering reporters not to ask him about matters other than his meeting with Diaz on Saturday. But when the topic of Covington came up vis a vis president Donald Trump’s expected visit to UFC 244, an honor the former interim champ has long dreamed about, Masvidal couldn’t help himself.
”Who’s he coming to see? It’s not that c*cksucker with the MAGA hat talking about Trump this, Trump that, and he don’t know s*it about politics,” Masvidal said.
Covington, though, is in New York to promote his title fight against champ Kamaru Usman at UFC 245, which takes place Dec. 14 in Las Vegas. He’ll likely push for face time with the president. He’s also likely to have many things to say about Masvidal and his “BMF” fight, most of it unflattering.
Usman will have the first crack at Covington in his own grudge match with the ex-interim champ. Masvidal would, of course, like to meet the winner of that fight. But even if Covington doesn’t emerge victorious, he sees their paths eventually crossing.
”A lot of people said that what I did to Ben (Askren) was a little uncalled for,” he said. “Nah, it wasn’t. What I’m going to do to Colby is going to be uncalled for, and I can put my life on that.”