Colby Covington takes down Jorge Masvidal during their UFC 272 headliner fight. | Photo by David Becker/Getty Images

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith critiques Jorge Masvidal’s UFC 272 performance.

Veteran ESPN anchor Stephen A. Smith is known for his strong and oftentimes debated opinions on his very own show “First Take.” In a recent episode, he discussed UFC 272, particularly the grudge match headliner between Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal.

Smith, who claimed to be a “huge, huge Masvidal fan,” first touched on what he saw as the major difference between the two fighters in terms of conditioning.

“I saw Masvidal gutsy and survived the five rounds,” Smith said. “But while he was waving Covington on to come on, ‘Let’s get some more, let’s get some more,’ he was literally using two security personnel to lean on. Because that’s how exhausted he was. Covington looked like he was just starting. He was that energized.”

During the post-fight interviews, Masvidal did admit that his wrestling was “flat” that night and that he needed to do more work on it. But for Smith, that reasoning didn’t make sense.

“How was it flat coming into this fight, knowing this guy as well as you know him, and knowing what he was going to try to do to you and how much you supposedly hate him? How you were not ready for a wrestling match, I don’t understand. It’s inexplicable.”

The 37-year-old Masvidal lost to Covington via decision, which marked his third consecutive defeat. He drops to a record of 35-16.


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