One-time interim UFC welterweight titleholder, Colby Covington appears to be on the cusp of an undisputed welterweight title re-run against current holder, Kamaru Usman according to UFC president, Dana White. And it now looks as if he’s put a long-awaited and much speculated grudge match against former American Top Team teammate, Jorge Masvidal for the time being — claiming the pairing “doesn’t make sense” given the Floridian’s recent dip in form.
Yet to feature since a UFC Vegas 11 main event tilt last September, Covington had tirelessly campaigned for a showdown against either former friend, Masvidal or former-foe, Usman next following a one-sided fifth round TKO win over former division leader, Tyron Woodley, however, the promotion elected to pair Usman and Masvidal together for a title rematch instead at UFC 261 in April.
Headlining the Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena event in Jacksonville, Florida — Usman overcame Masvidal for the second time in the space of nine months, via a brutal second round knockout — becoming the first to finish the veteran via strikes since Rodrigo Damm back in 2008.
Prior to the event, promotional head-honcho, White had claimed that if Usman were to traverse Masvidal again, another rematch would await him next, in the form of Clovis native, Covington — whom Usman stopped in the fifth round of their UFC 245 headliner back in December of 2019.
Usman initially showed interest in a potential showdown against the surging #6 ranked contender, Michael Chiesa according to the Auchi native’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, however that potential pairing fizzled out.
Speaking with MMA Junkie reporter, Mike Bohn during a recent interview at his new home base, MMA Masters, Covington appears to have changed his tune on a potential grudge match against American Top Team staple, Masvidal, claiming that the fight doesn’t make sense anymore given the slide of the Miami favourite.
“It doesn’t make sense (a matchup against Jorge Masvidal),” Covington said. “I’m not gonna have people downplay my victory if I beat him. I’ve already owned his soul for the last 10 years when we trained together at American Top Team. You can go look on the internet, I used to hold him down in our kitchen and just pat on his face, ‘Get up (Jorge) Masvidal, get up, do something,’ and he couldn’t do anything. So he knows I’m his daddy. I’m his rightful owner, and there’s a reason he ducked the fight for so long. He doesn’t want to fight me.“
“He knows I own the keys to his soul, so I don’t know,” Covington continued. “If the UFC really wants to do it, I’m the people’s champ, and I’m America’s champ for a reason. I’ll do what the people want, what the UFC want. I want to put the biggest and best fights in the organization, but I don’t feel like he’s the biggest and best fight in the organization. The guy has almost 20 losses on his record, he’s nothing more than a journeyman at this point, so his 10 seconds of fame are up, and there’s nothing for me to gain anymore.“
Covington would go on to claim that he’s actually already knocked Masvidal out during sparring sessions at the American Top Team training facility in Coconut Creek, Florida.
“I’ve already beat him up and knocked him out multiple times in the gym,” Covington said. “I have nothing to prove against him. I want to go out there, beat ‘Marty Fakenewsman’ (Kamaru Usman), solidify myself as the greatest welterweight in the world, and go on to solidify myself as the greatest welterweight of all time. I have unfinished business.“