MMA: From best friends to sworn enemies – Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington

From best friends to sworn enemies – Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington

MMA: From best friends to sworn enemies – Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington

From best friends to sworn enemies – Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington.

The pair found their way to the top of the UFC ranks in very different circumstances. Covington entered mixed martial arts after flourishing as a college wrestling star, while Masvidal grew up fighting in the backyards of Miami alongside Kimbo Slice.

Covington and Masvidal’s paths crossed at American Top Team, the leading MMA gym that has developed the likes of Amanda Nunes, Dustin Poirier and Yoel Romero.

As welterweights, the pair regularly trained together under the tutelage of Dan Lambert. Covington revealed that they would motivate each other in training by taunting one another about future pay days.

While Covington and Masvidal were content to share the path to the top of the welterweight division for the time being, it was only natural that the best friends would face a crossroads.

Masvidal was earning a reputation as a fan-favourite, with his fearlessness and knockout power appealing to the UFC fan base. Covington, though, was not getting the same sort of recognition as his team-mate.

October 28 2017 saw Covington step out of the packed welterweight division and announce himself as the man to beat.

The 32-year-old earned an impressive win over veteran Demian Maia in his hometown of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and launched an explosive post-fight tirade that instantly put a target on his back among welterweights.

Both Covington and Masvidal present conflicting accounts of why their friendship turned sour, but both have said that it was the Maia fight that saw their relationship take a turn for the worst.

Chaos claims that Masvidal was overwhelmed by jealous rage, and could not handle the fact that his team-mate was getting the publicity he craved.

Gamebred, however, says they fell out after Covington refused to pay his coach.

For a friendship that seemed so strong to turn so sour so quickly would unsurprisingly come as a shock for Masvidal, but the 35-year-old is adamant he will make Covington pay for the public abuse he receives.

A fight between the pair would certainly win the approval of the UFC masses, and for Masvidal and Covington, meeting in the octagon will be about much more than a claim at the welterweight title.

It will be personal.