No fighter had a better year than Jorge Masvidal. After years of grinding it out as a talented mid-level fighter, Masvidal exploded in 2019, knocking out Darren Till and Ben Askren - the latter in five seconds, a UFC record - before stopping Nate Diaz to claim the specially commissioned BMF title at UFC 244. In so doing, Masvidal rose from relative unknown to one of the biggest stars in the sport, an overnight sensation 16 years in the making.
But Masvidal’s great 2019 didn’t end there. For about half of the year, Masvidal started beefing with former friend and training partner Colby Covington, and just last weekend, Masvidal got the cherry on top of his 2019 sundae, watching Covington get his jaw broken and then stopped by welterweight champion Kamaru Usman at UFC 245. For Masvidal, it was the universe setting things right.
“At first, my initial thing was just to break his face but then my coach said ‘That’s gonna probably get you in jail and you’re not gonna be able to fight and blah blah blah. Let the universe take care of him,’” Masvidal told Jim Rome recently. “And his exact words were, ‘We’ll get him in the prize ring and break his jaw.’ Somebody beat me to that but his jaw is broken.”
For years, Masvidal and Covington were friends and training partners. But as both men rose to the top of the division, animosity began to boil up with Covington repeatedly taking veiled shots at his friend in public while trying to position himself for a title shot. Ultimately, the friendship fractured, setting up a potentially huge grudge match between the two. For the time being, the grudge match will have to wait, but the animosity isn’t going anywhere. Masvidal continued on to say that Covington deserved what happened to him.
“I don’t like to be critical of human beings because I am one and I’m nowhere near perfect but I’m just not with that whole, your whole career is based out of getting a rise out of people,” Masvidal said. “Like, if I come on your show and I’m just saying a bunch of controversial stuff for people to be talking about me, it’s not really my cup of tea. But people do it all the time and he’s the number one poster boy for that. He always wants to get a reaction out of people.
“Now this individual, when people are trying to get a reaction out of him, he’s reporting people on Instagram! He took the comments off so you can’t comment on them and then he’s reporting people on Instagram that were commenting on him. He was saying how negative they are towards him and stuff. This is a guy that’s calling people virgins, calling people nerds and saying they live in their parents basements, marks, snowflakes, making fun of Brazilians. That country, it’s not like it’s a rich country and it’s doing well. They’ve got a lot of poverty over there. They’ve got a lot of people that take it to heart what he’s saying and he doesn’t give a flying f*ck. And he does that all for a like on Facebook, for a paycheck for the three, four, five PPVs that it went up with. That guy’s a clown and he got what he deserved.”
For now Covington, who blamed the loss on poor refereeing, will have to sit on the sidelines and wait things out while Masvidal attempts to keep his momentum into 2020. Masvidal has been thrown out as a possible opponent for Usman’s welterweight title but for him, the belt is ancillary. Right now, he’s the hottest star in the sport and he wants to reap those benefits while he can.
“My journey’s been long. 16 years. I want to be handsomely rewarded,” Masvidal said. “A big part of that 16 years, there was a lot of instability because money wasn’t coming in, paychecks weren’t coming in. I wouldn’t mind setting up that future for my grandkids, so the fight that can get the biggest zeroes attached to it, that’s the fight we’re gonna take.”
And despite the fact that Usman has the title, the biggest fight for Masvidal is still a potential BMF title defense against Conor McGregor. McGregor is scheduled to face Donald Cerrone at UFC 246 in January and afterwards, should McGregor win, Masvidal says that’s a fight he’s definitely interested in. And should it come to pass, Masvidal promises to shut up one more brash and outspoken fighter, like he did with Ben Askren.
“He gets melted,” Masvidal concluded. “What the world is looking for is for him to suffer and get chastised for some of the things that he’s done in public. Everybody’s gonna feel sorry for him after the fight, I can tell you that much. They’ll forgive him all after the fight. This baptisms going to be a little extra for Mr. Conor.”
125. Henry Cejudo relinquishes UFC flyweight belt, Joseph Benavidez vs. Deiveson Figueiredo set for vacant title. Cropped
Dropped. Charges dropped against alleged accomplice in Aniah Blanchard case.
Surgery. Alexander Volkanovski to have surgery for broken hand after UFC 245 title win.
Lawsuit. Max Holloway working on potential lawsuit over health issues that led to UFC 226 withdrawal.
Confused. Alistair Overeem declares a win over Jairzinho Rozenstruik, says he’s ‘pretty again’ after lip injury.
No interest. Petr Yan has no immediate interest in fighting Cody Garbrandt: ‘He is a puppy - he barks, but doesn’t bite’.
UFC Busan weigh ins.
Anatomy of Kamaru Usman vs. Colby Covington.
Wonderboy addressing the brewing feud between himself and Conor over the NMF belt.
10 fights that enraged Dana White.
Weili Zhang is learning English. Doing pretty well.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
A statement from Henry Cejudo (@HenryCejudo). pic.twitter.com/5VW2nTQzkk— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) December 20, 2019
Does it make him double clown? I guess not... https://t.co/aPEWOBRMPu— Petr “No Mercy” Yan (@PetrYanUFC) December 20, 2019
I see y’all watchin #GameChanger— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) December 19, 2019
The weight that I’m going to carry with me forever. Peso que carrego e carregarei para sempre!!! pic.twitter.com/RdG1b4yGxN— Amanda Nunes (@Amanda_Leoa) December 19, 2019
Derrick Lewis beating the hell out of a dude.
When a boxers said he will knock me out because I’m a mma fighter pic.twitter.com/EjSeudMeQM— Derrick Lewis (@Thebeast_ufc) December 19, 2019
It appears the Sugar Show will be back next year.
This sure is something.
Always wear boots on a plane. @TheoVon pic.twitter.com/N3K9wDMpn7— Bryce Mitchell (@ThugnastyMMA) December 19, 2019
Joseph Benavidez (28-5) vs. Deiveson Figueiredo (17-1); UFC Norfolk, Feb. 29.
Mickey Gall (6-2) vs. Alex Oliveira (20-8-1); UFC Norfolk, Feb. 29.
Felicia Spencer (7-1) vs. Zarah Fairn dos Santos (6-3); UFC Norfolk, Feb. 29.
Robert Whittaker (20-5) vs. Jared Cannonier (13-4); UFC 248, March 7.
Paul Craig (12-4-1) vs. Ryan Spann (17-5); UFC London, March 21.
Thanks for reading, enjoy the fights, and see y’all on Monday.
Who wins this weekend?
This poll is closed
If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @JedKMeshew on Twitter and let him know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram, add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting, and like us on Facebook.