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Dustin Poirier reacts to video released by Colby Covington: ‘That’s what happens in gyms during hard sparring’

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

If Colby Covington was trying to get under Dustin Poirier’s skin ahead of his fight at UFC 264, the always outspoken welterweight contender will be sorely disappointed.

On Tuesday, Covington released a brief 15-second clip that showed Poirier dropping a training partner during a sparring session at American Top Team in Florida.

Initially, Covington called Poirier’s sparring partner an amateur but he later amended that statement saying “the guy with no headgear, wrestling credentials or brain cells left is ‘Khabib’” as he hinted this was a training session from the training camp to face Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2019.

In response, Poirier posted on Twitter that the teammate he was working with was a professional fighter with a deep resume, who was later revealed as Titan FC veteran Felipe Douglas. Poirier then offered further reaction to the footage released when addressing Covington during an interview with UFC Arabia.

“That’s why I kind of put that out there. I don’t want people to think this is an amateur kid or something like that,” Poirier said. “That was a professional fighter. I mean that’s what happens in gyms during hard sparring, real sparring.

“There’s times where you drill and train and stuff like that. There’s times where you do hard sparring and that was a hard sparring session. It is what it is.”

As much as Covington might have been attempting to make Poirier look bad with the sparring footage released, numerous fighters came to his defense while explaining that the video didn’t look like anything different than you’d see in most high profile mixed martial arts gyms across the globe.

Fellow American Top Team fighter Jorge Masvidal added to the conversation by asking Covington to also release the sparring footage that shows him being dropped with a body shot delivered by Poirier.

For his part, Poirier wasn’t looking to get into an exchange with Covington and truth be told he’s been shutting out all social media in the weeks leading into his fight against Conor McGregor on Saturday night.

“I’ve actually been off of social media for like the last month,” Poirier explained. “I have a team that runs it for me and puts captions to pictures and posts and stuff like that. I’m trying to be away from it, just to get away from all the negativity.

“As I was sitting here waiting for these interviews to start, I picked up my phone and saw that the video was out and I was like let me just let people know that this guy was a professional fighter. It wasn’t an amateur fighter or something like that. Other than that, it’s all good, it’s whatever. It’s just noise.”