Jorge Masvidal thinks he stands just one win away from a shot at UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards, despite rival Colby Covington currently sitting at the head of the queue to face the Englishman.
Edwards defeated Kamaru Usman in London to cement his position at the top of the UFC’s 170-pound tree, with UFC president Dana White immediately installing two-time title challenger Covington as the next man to challenge, despite the American’s lengthy layoff.
And, ahead of his own bout this weekend at UFC 287, Masvidal – himself a two-time title challenger – cast doubt on Covington’s position, as he pushed his own claims for a shot at “Rocky.”
“I currently have three felonies because this b***h Colby says I gave him a brain injury, so how the f**k is he going to fight for any title? (That) is what I want to know,” Masvidal asked during media day ahead of UFC 287 in Miami.
“The UFC is going to get sued if that guy goes in there and something like that happens. Because supposedly, allegedly – because I didn’t do s**t – he says I gave him a brain injury. I didn’t do s**t to him.”
Masvidal’s position seems clear. If Covington is fit to fight for the title, that completely undermines the accusations levelled at “Gamebred,” who is alleged to have assaulted Covington as he left a restaurant in March 2022. Masvidal was later arrested and charged with aggravated battery and criminal mischief, then released while legal process is followed. He pled not guilty, and continued to protest his innocence ahead of his bout with Gilbert Burns this weekend.
As part of the ongoing legal issues between Masvidal and Covington, a restraining order has been instituted to keep the two men apart. But, despite this, Masvidal said he wouldn’t be at all surprised if Covington appeared at the arena on fight night.
“Of course, he’s an attention-seeking-a** w***e,” said Masvidal.
“He’s going to be there. From 100 feet away and 20 security guards, he’s going to be saying all types of crazy-a** s**t, that he’s the king of this and that. He’s only the king of calling cops and s*****g c**k.
“All I know is he has a restraining order on me. I have to stay 100 feet away from this individual. I don’t even know why he would even put such a thing on me, because I’m just the coolest guy. My mind is still blown as to why he has a restraining order on me and then he’s claiming he’s the king of I don’t know what. Whatever.”
Masvidal hopes that a decisive victory over fellow title contender Burns will see him leapfrog Covington to take the next title shot. It would potentially match Masvidal with a man who he’s held a simmering rivalry with ever since he left a post-fight backstage interview to attack Edwards at The O2 Arena, an incident he infamously described as him giving Edwards “the three-piece and a soda.”
Edwards would also relish a clash with Masvidal, should “Gamebred” win in Miami on Saturday. The champion also cast doubt over the mooted matchup with Covington, telling Fighters Only that he didn’t see the logic in the former interim champion being lined up as his next opponent.
“I don’t know how that makes sense,” he told us.
“He hasn’t fought for over a year and a half. Sat out, not injured. I just don’t get how he just slides in for the world title shot when there’s other guys in the division that have been active, been fighting, didn’t sit out.
“So yeah, like I said, I’m the king now. I’ve earned my way. I feel I should decide who’s next.”