For the most part, mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters who compete at the highest level do so with the help of their longtime teammates and typically refuse to fight one another for a championship title.
Like Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweights Cain Velasquez and Daniel Cormier, for example, or top welterweight contenders Tyron Woodley and Ben Askren.
There are exceptions to that unwritten rule. Former UFC light heavyweight champion, Quinton Jackson, respects his combat sports buddies, but isn’t Jesus Christ and has bills to pay. And we all know Jon Jones had no problem divorcing Rashad Evans after UFC 128.
Add 170-pound title contender, Jorge Masvidal, to that ever-growing list, as “Gamebred” may find himself belt-blocked by American Top Team (ATT) training partner, Colby Covington, at some point in the very near future.
“It sucks, you don’t wanna punch any of your friends in the face,” Masvidal told ESPN. “And we’ve been beating the crap out of each other for years now. So I don’t wanna turn my hand into a weapon and my knee and do that to Colby or him having to do it to me. But I didn’t get into this business to high five with no man.”
Covington was expected to get the next crack at reigning welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman, but “The Nigerian Nightmare” benched himself until November. In his absence, “Chaos” accepted a main event showdown against former champion, Robbie Lawler.
And a victory could leave the promotion with two top contenders.
“I got into this business to compete to be the best,” Masvidal said. “And then when I had children and I saw the fruits of my labor could give them the best life ever, that’s the only thing that matters to me. So if it’s Colby, if it’s whoever it is it doesn’t matter when it’s for that belt cause that’s where the money’s at.”
Masvidal is currently ranked No. 4 at 170 pounds, but may improve his position after smashing Ben Askren at the UFC 239 pay-per-view (PPV) event last weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada (watch the replay here).
So … who wins if Masvidal has to fight Covington?