Considering him a close ally in the past, Covington took a sharp right turn on Masvidal when he trashed his fellow American Top Team teammate while both were involved in negotiations with the UFC for a potential title fight.
The social media shot then erupted into a full-blown war of words between the two fighters. Now, they may finally be destined for a collision course inside the Octagon.
At UFC 244, Masvidal defeated Nate Diaz to become the “baddest motherf*cker” in the game, which also put him at the top of the list for a potential title shot against the winner of Usman vs. Covington in December.
For what it’s worth, Covington welcomes the challenge.
“That’s a fight that intrigues me big time,” Covington said about Masvidal in an interview with MMA Fighting. “He tries to call himself ‘Street Jesus,’ but he’s really ‘Street Judas.’ It’s an easy fight. He knows what happens when I get my hands on him. I break him.
“We’re going to fight one way or another. Whether it’s in the UFC Octagon, or a backyard of Dan Lambert’s house, or in the parking lot at American Top Team. I just hope that it’s in the UFC Octagon, so he can get his medical bills paid by the UFC, and I don’t want to go to jail for assault for beating his ass.”
While Masvidal has spoken about fighting for the welterweight belt, he’s also shown interest in “money” fights against opponents such as Conor McGregor, or even Nick Diaz – if the latter ever returns from a nearly five-year long hiatus.
The title fight could be the most likely option. For all the success that Masvidal has found lately, with three straight finishes over Diaz, Darren Till and Ben Askren, Covington doesn’t seem all that impressed.
Despite all the attention surrounding Masvidal right now, Covington is convinced his fellow American Top Team fighter would be led like a lamb to the slaughter if they were ever matched up in a fight.
“I’d be a massive favorite over journeyman Jorge,” Covington said. “It would be in the ballpark of a 4-to-1 favorite. If you look at his record, ‘Street Judas,’ he’s 6-5 in his last 11 fights. He’s 3-2 in his last five fights. He’s just barely gotten over the mediocre fighting championship. He’s barely over 50-50. The guy is a complete bum. He wasn’t even the best welterweight on the card at UFC 244.
“If you remember, he just fought Stephen ‘Wondergirl’ Thompson a year or two ago in that same arena and got his ass beat up. He got dropped, got beat up for three rounds straight, and that guy was on his undercard. Yeah he gets a little bit of hype because he knocks out the doughboy [Darren Till], and then he gets one of the easiest fights in the history of the UFC in Ben ‘Ass Cream’ (Askren), and he does some Hail Mary [flying knee] and he lands it.”
Crassness aside, Covington raises a valid point regarding Masvidal’s record after he lost two straight fights to Stephen Thompson and Demian Maia before taking an extended break from action to film a reality show. Upon his return, Masvidal shook things up with three consecutive wins in 2019, capped off by his victory over Diaz in the UFC 244 main event.
Regardless of his recent success, Covington knows Masvidal too well to believe he’s got what it takes to become champion.
“People want to put this hype on him like he’s some kind of god,” Covington said. “He sucks. He’s not well-rounded. He’s not a good fighter. He’s predictable.”
The verbal attacks between the two welterweight contenders have all been fair game. But Covington actually took offense to one jab that came at him from Masvidal right after their friendship dissolved.
Back in September, Masvidal claimed his beef with Covington originally stemmed from the outspoken Donald Trump supporter failing to pay one of his coaches who had worked with him leading up to a fight against Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 225 in 2018.
Covington not only denied he didn’t pay the coach, but blasted Masvidal for even suggesting that he stiffed somebody for money that was owed after a fight camp.
“To attack my character and the kind of person I am, just make up fake, blatant lies and there’s no credibility to them,” Covington said in response. “Like that hurts more than anything because people actually believe him and they follow him and what he says is true.
“To make up a joke of a lie about your coach, who just picked your side – and I’m okay with that – but then to say I didn’t pay your coach? I have the receipts. I have all the receipts. I can prove you wrong. You want to come out and make this a big deal?”
Covington continued his diatribe by taking aim at Masvidal’s own credentials as a training partner whenever he’s preparing for a fight at the main ATT facility in Coconut Creek, Fla.
“You’re such a piece of sh*t training partner, you don’t go into train,” Covington said. “You’re selfish. The only time you’re in there training at American Top Team is when you’re in there training for your fight. You’re not ever in there helping other guys. I’m in there 365 days a year at American Top Team. I’m helping out the amateurs, I’m helping out the pros, I’m helping the jiu-jitsu guys, I’m helping the Muay Thai guys. I’m helping from the bottom up. I don’t play favorites.
“I’m not selfish in my training camps where I only use guys in the gym when I need them like Jorge does. I’m selfless, I always help guys get ready for their fights. You’ll never see Jorge getting guys ready for their fights. It’s just sad to see the kind of things he’s saying in the media. Me not paying coaches and not being a good teammate - that trickles down, there’s a trickle-down effect at American Top Team. I see some of the ways guys treat me now because they believe what Jorge says is true. It’s the furthest thing away from truth and I can’t wait to expose his lies.”
While a potential fight with Masvidal will probably have to wait until next year, Covington says he’ll be staying ready for that matchup just in case something happens to Usman and he’s unable to compete at UFC 245.
Otherwise, Covington fully expects to settle his grudge with the “BMF” champion in 2020.
“He’s talking a big game but he can’t back that game up so I would love to get my hands on him,” Covington said. “If Marty Fakenewsman (Usman) pulls out or if USADA comes gets him for all the EPO that’s in his system, you might just see me versus journeyman Jorge for the title.”