Colby Covington warms up with Paulino Hernandez ahead of UFC 225 in 2018. | Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
American Top Team striking coach Paulino Hernandez confirms Jorge Masvidal’s claims about Colby Covington’s refusal to pay for supposedly owed training fees.
It was around 2019 when the feud between former long-time friends Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal began to rear its ugly head. That time, Masvidal spoke up about what he says is the reason for their rift.
“He ripped off my coach, that was his coach,” Masvidal claimed in his appearance on the Dan LeBatard show. “We were with him until his title fight. After he won the title, he owed him a certain amount of money but didn’t pay him.
“I said if you don’t pay him I’m going to f—k you up. My coach got in between it, it doesn’t have to be like this, let it slide since I ain’t talked to the dude.”
Masvidal was referring to Covington’s UFC 225 interim title fight with Rafael dos Anjos in 2018. But to this day, “Chaos” denies such allegations.
Here’s what he said on the first episode of Embedded for UFC 272.
“My mindset moving into this fight with Masvidal is I wanna hurt this guy really bad,” he said. “He’s ran his mouth enough about me and said some fake lies to the media, try to make up this narrative that I didn’t pay coaches, which is the biggest lie I’ve ever heard.”
Throughout this time, the coach in question, Paulino Hernandez, never got to speak his side of the story. In a recent interview with MMAJunkie’s Danny Segura, he got the chance to do so, and he confirmed Masvidal’s claims.
“I knew that he wasn’t going to pay what we had agreed to,” Hernandez said in Spanish. “I knew it because he had already mentioned it to Jorge.
“Jorge told me, ‘Hey, look. (Covington is) telling me that he’s going to be getting a lot of money and that it’s going to be too much money for you.’ (Masvidal) told me that (Covington) didn’t want to pay. I told him I’d still finish the job with him, that I’d do the final training. I wanted him to be champion.
“I mean, we’re talking about the same gym. The gym is always looking to add new champions. He’s a good fighter and had a good opportunity to put on a good showing. I knew he was going to win the interim title.
“We still worked with him, and we gave him the opportunity. When it came down to paying, to reflect, and come with the agreed sum, he didn’t do it. So from there, that’s when things ended.”
Hernandez says Covington received a purse amounting to $350,000, which did not include the $30,000 Reebok bonus at the time. According to him, he was due to receive $17,000 but only got $5,000. Covington, however, recently spoke to ESPN claiming that he somehow only took home “half” of his supposed purse.
After more than two years of beefing, Masvidal and Covington will finally get to lay their hands on each other at UFC 272 this weekend. The event will take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.