Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Most of what UFC welterweight Colby Covington said at the post-UFC 272 press conference had to be taken with a grain of salt. In a victory lap, the former interim champ relished the chance to gloat about his win over former teammate-turned-rival Jorge Masvidal.

But one thing stood on its own after all the taunts and insults, and that was Covington’s performance. A unanimous decision was the unquestioned outcome when he and Masvidal put it all on the line for real, and according to Covington, it “wasn’t my best performance.”

“Just a lot of emotions going into it,” Covington explained to MMA Fighting after his main event win on Saturday at T-Mobile Arena. “That was a real friend of mine at one point in my career, and he’s such a backstabbing thief, and he talks so reckless. He tried to make some false narratives to the media and lies like he does – he’s a liar. He’s a thief. So I let the emotions get the best of me, but it was still dominant.

“I just showed how good I was, that I am the No. 1 fighter in the world for a reason, and it wasn’t even competitive tonight.”

There were rumblings before and during the fight that Covington may have been compromised by an injury. Masvidal at one point even indicated his rival may have sought a cortisone injection to deal with a knee injury in training champ. But Covington shot down the idea in trademark fashion.

“That’s fake news,” he said. “It’s funny that that happened, because I told someone intentionally [about the injury], because I wanted to see whose side he was really on – team Jorge or team Colby. So I found out what team he’s on, and I’ve got to keep my circle even smaller going forward.

“But I’m the king of Miami now. Jorge needs to leave the city. It’s not big enough for the two of us. He needs to leave, or he’s going to get sparked again.”

Masvidal didn’t submit to Covington verbally after 25 minutes in the cage. Even a hard-fought contest didn’t blunt the feelings of hatred between the fighters, and Covington’s cornermen exchanged words with Masvidal after a burst of expletives in the moments following the conclusion of the headliner.

“He was still running his mouth,” Covington said. “It’s like, dude, you just got pounded out. You got dropped, wobbled. Just a complete domination from second one to minute 25. You could see in his body language, he literally didn’t have another one minute to go, so just imagine if there wasn’t a ref there tonight. His life would have been over.

“So, that’s the end of ‘Street Judas.’ I don’t want to hear any more talk of Street Judas, the hype machine that hit lightning in a bottle for a couple fights. He’s done. I don’t want to hear another word about it.”

Immediately after his win over Masvidal, Covington had his sights already set on another target, or at least a familiar one. Former interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier, another training partner-turned-rival at his former gym American Top Team, was on the receiving end of a verbal tirade as Covington took the post-fight mic.

On Twitter, Poirier tweeted his response while apparently on vacation in Jamaica, using a slur in Jamaican patois to describe Covington.

Dustin Poirier checks in from his trip to Jamaica #UFC272 pic.twitter.com/JWzzQxZMrd

— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) March 6, 2022

A third crack at Kamaru Usman is Covington’s ultimate goal. But with the UFC welterweight champion sidelined by a hand surgery, the brash “Chaos” has decided to settle another score.

“Let’s do it, bro,” he said in response to Poirier’s tweet. “He said it’s on sight. Let’s do it. Stop talking reckless in the media. If I talk to the media and say things, I come out here and back it up. I’m a man of my word.

“So we can do it anywhere. We don’t have to do it in the UFC octagon. If he wants to do it in a park, or in a street, my one stipulation is that you let the world watch it and enjoy themselves.”

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