Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Colby Covington has undoubtedly become one of the most polarizing figures across all of combat sports. But his outlandish statements and brash behavior have also resulted in a lot of frayed relationships.
Perhaps the biggest change was when the former interim welterweight champion split with American Top Team, the gym he called home for his fighting career to date. The exit from the Florida-based gym came after Covington engaged in numerous public battles with teammates, including an intense rivalry with Jorge Masvidal that culminated in a fight as the main event at UFC 272.
Former UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk has never held back on her opinion on Covington after he made disparaging remarks about her while they were still training under the same roof.
Jedrzejczyk supports Masvidal as he prepares to face Covington in the highly anticipated grudge match and plans to sit cageside at UFC 272.
“I am very, very excited,” she said on The Fighter vs. The Writer. “Colby is a great athlete, and what I remember from back in the day, that he was always training on the mat. When the training was done after one and a half hours, he was doing an extra one and a half hours with Jorge Masvidal.
“Actually, I had this conversation with [someone] the other day, how crazy was it is that they were friends. They were always together. Now you see all these promo videos, they were cornering each other. Now they’re the biggest rivals.
Long before he left American Top Team, Covington built his brand around an outspoken support of former President Donald Trump. He also posted videos that touted a lavish lifestyle. He seemingly took shots at half the UFC roster and frequently jabbed at former two-division champion Conor McGregor. Jedrzejczyk always found that truly bizarre given how much it appeared that Covington wanted to be just like “The Notorious.”
“The worst thing about Colby, most of the things he said [and] said he’s done isn’t true,” Jedrzejczyk said. “The way he was acting after he won the interim belt, like all the old man opening the door for him, him having a driver, these girls, these b*tches around him, walking to our American Top Team. It wasn’t true. Why are you acting like Conor McGregor [and then] saying bad things about Conor McGregor? There is only one Conor McGregor.
“So don’t call names on him and you’re trying to act like him. You have empty pockets, and you’re trying to act like a king. You can’t do these things. You can’t tell lies.”
Covington’s beef with his former team will certainly take center stage at UFC 272, and Jedrzejczyk has full confidence that Masvidal will settle the grudge once and for all.
“I can tell you guys he’s training really hard,” Jedrzejczyk said about Masvidal. “He’s super focused and I’m very happy for Jorge that he made it from nothing to something. He got what he deserved. I’m super happy for him.
“It’s a super important fight for all of us but he has the ATT army behind his back. Because Colby, he didn’t make a good impression when he was leaving.”
For all the things he’s said and done, Jedrzejczyk can’t help but hope that Covington gets what he deserves when he finally has to face Masvidal next Saturday night.
“You can’t burn the bridges,” Jedrzejczyk said. “Karma is bad, and I hope that Colby will have a strong ass when it [bites] him.”