Colby Covington knew right away who ambushed him.
On the evening of March 21, Covington was attacked outside of a restaurant in Miami Beach, Fla., by an individual that he identified to police as UFC rival Jorge Masvidal. Soon after the incident, Masvidal was arrested and is currently facing charges of multiple felonies including aggravated battery and criminal mischief.
YouTube channel Real World Police released audio of Covington’s conversation with the police Friday, following the release of footage of Masvidal’s arrest and processing.
According to Covington, he was enjoying a night out with a group of friends that included Bob Menery and Kyle Forgeard of the Nelk Boys, and as they were changing locations, the former UFC interim champion was allegedly attacked by Masvidal.
“As soon as we walk out, like, a bunch of people kind of bombarded us,” Covington told police. “They wanted pictures, a couple of people were asking me to sign gloves, like I signed four or five different gloves from three or four different fans. We were there for probably three to five minutes right outside Papi steakhouse and then we’re like, ‘Let’s get out of here. It’s time to go.’
“As soon as we’re about to walk across the street, I get sideswiped from the side, like I get punched in the mouth real quick and kind of get dizzed up and I look up and I see who it is, I can see in his eyes, it’s Jorge Masvidal. I can see his hair coming out of his hoodie, but he has a face mask on. A surgical face mask. But he’s saying, ‘You shouldn’t have f****** talked about my kids, you shouldn’t have f****** talked about my kids.’ So I was easily able to identify, like, that’s his voice, that’s his eyes, that’s his hair. I know exactly who that is and he took two quick punches to me.”
Covington recalls that Masvidal wasn’t alone. He said that his first instinct after being struck was to retreat back to the steakhouse, where he eventually called the police.
The alleged altercation took place two weeks after Covington scored a unanimous decision victory over Masvidal in the main event of UFC 272 on March 5 in Las Vegas. Covington and Masvidal had been embroiled in a lengthy and deeply personal war of words, a feud that developed out of a former friendship.
“Yes, I do have a history of knowing this person because I lived with him for two years and we were training partners for eight years,” Covington said. “We were very close friends, we literally trained together every single day, we were best friends. Obviously, I just fought this individual two weeks ago in Las Vegas, Nevada, for the UFC on their pay-per-view and I beat him easily, so I know exactly what he looks like, his eyes, his hair.”
When news of the incident first became public, Masvidal and his management issued a series of cryptic tweets seeming to address the incident, with Masvidal saying in a since deleted Twitter video, “Call this the show your face challenge. What’s up, I’m from Dade county. You talk that s*** you’ve got to back it up. That’s how my city rolls.”
In the new audio, Covington can be heard describing an injury to a tooth and also that Masvidal’s punches were hard enough to daze him. Covington later alleged that he had suffered a brain injury from the attack, a claim that Masvidal’s legal team refutes.
“I definitely suffered an injury to my tooth,” Covington said on March 21. “He chipped my front tooth and knocked it out and the adrenaline’s still kind of going right now, but he definitely rocked me. I saw stars a little bit, but I stayed on my feet and I was just trying to get to safety. That’s all I was concerned about.”
Covington then said he was unable to locate his attacker after being struck as his first instinct was to retreat back to the restaurant. However, he was certain that Masvidal was the suspect in question.
He added that he’s convinced Masvidal was motivated to attack him due to personal attacks he aimed at Masvidal ahead of their UFC 272 encounter.
“So the reference to the kids is in our last fight, the build-up at the press conference, I said, ‘Hey, you’re a deadbeat dad. You don’t talk to your kids,’” Covington said. “I have a relationship with his kids as well because we were that close as friends, so I still talk to his ex-wife and his baby mama. I’m still close with the family and I still like the kids.
“I was being honest, I said the honest truth. I know it’s fight promotion and anything kind of goes when you’re trying to sell a fight, but I said the truth. I just said, ‘Hey, why don’t you talk to your kids? Why are you a deadbeat father?’”