The charges limited Masvidal’s ability to speak freely on the case now pending in Miami-Dade County (Fla.), but on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, he addressed his legal situation and ripped Covington.
“Allegedly this, allegedly that,” Masvidal said. “But I’m innocent, not guilty. I’m facing three felonies if you want to know the exact truth. And yeah, it’s still pending. This guy’s a coward f***, so what could I expect from a coward f*** like him?”
Covington, who was outed by Masvidal on social media and in court after initially invoking victim’s privacy rights, allegedly suffered a broken tooth and damage to his Rolex watch in the alleged assault. He told police Masvidal, wearing a surgical mask and a hoodie, ambushed him outside the Miami Beach restaurant Papi Sal’s and struck him twice in the face. Masvidal was later detained by police and briefly jailed before posting bond.
Covington has not spoken publicly about the alleged assault, which took place on March 21, just over two weeks after he beat Masvidal via unanimous decision in a grudge match that headlined UFC 272.
There was immediate speculation of a possible rematch between Covington and Masvidal, who exchanged bitter insults leading up to the fight. But Masvidal said his return will be determined by the outcome of the case. According to court records, a trial hearing is scheduled for Aug. 22.
“I’m in the justice system, right, so it’s not like I get to make these calls,” Masvidal said of a timeline for his next fight. “So I want to say I’ll be OK. I’m a positive person and I’ve got my faith in a good outcome, but I’m still facing three felonies.”
Masvidal is facing charges of aggravated battery with great bodily harm and criminal mischief, felony charges that respectively carry a potential sentence of up to 15 years and five years in prison; a third felony charge is an enhancement for the use of a mask during an alleged crime and is factored into the battery charge. Masvidal has pleaded not guilty and said at a recent NAC hearing that he engaged in mutual combat with Covington, a common defense to battery charges.
Masvidal’s attorneys have requested medical records for Covington, who allegedly suffered a brain injury in the alleged assault.