By Stuart Ly
At UFC 272, former friends and now rivals Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal will headline a rare non-title headliner at T-Mobile Arena, in Las Vegas. They will finally set off their year's worth of hatred in an octagon, with thousands in the arena and millions watching worldwide.
The two welterweights were formerly best friends — from training together to becoming roommates, the two were always together. From Masvidal’s viewpoint, he explained that the hatred for one another began when Covington stopped paying his coach the agreed percentages of his earnings. Until the hatred became more publicized, Masvidal said he had intentionally distanced himself from Covington, for his inappropriate behaviours he wasn’t supportive of.
On the other hand, Covington said that the rivalry stemmed from when he won the ‘Interim Welterweight title.’ In his words, Masvidal felt a sense of jealousy, seeing his friend succeed and surpass his skill level.
Covington is highly regarded as the villain of the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) for his arrogant personality and the trash-talking he chooses to use. However, this side of Covington was said to have begun when he fought Demain Maia. Before his fight with Maia, he was told that he would be cut from the organization no matter how the fight turned out.. This decision stemmed from his lack of excitement as a character that the audience enjoys watching. Fortunately, Covington won the fight, working to his benefit when he had an interview later that day, saving his career in the UFC. To stay, he knew he had to become the villain. With this new character in mind, Covington called Brazil a dump and its people filthy animals. As expected for him, he stayed, with this new aura that had awoken the villain inside of him.
Masvidal’s striking coach Paulino Hernandez was the person in particular that seemed to have been given injustice by Covington, resulting in their boiling rivalry that continues to develop. Both men plan to take each other out. In a recent interview with MMA Junkie, Masvidal said the following: “I’m hoping that the referee, on the way to pulling me off of him, slips on a banana peel and I get some extra shots in and really change his life and his face structure.” As you can tell, Masvidal is walking into the octagon with utter hatred for the man who will be across from him.
If either man gets the victory, they may be in line for another title shot. Both have had two fights with current welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, and both lost each match. The two men continue to set their sights on UFC gold and are fighting to get there sooner each time. Either man may be the fighter Usman will have to face once again in the next year or two.
The fighters have their eyes on each other, and they have for years. Starting their relationship in a friendship, but now hatred and an eagerness to leave in critical condition. At the end of this, on March 6, the day after the event, we will see who really kept their word on what they will do to one another.