After No. 1-ranked welterweight Colby “Chaos” Covington defeated former 170-pound champ Tyron Woodley in September, “Chaos” called for a fight with Masvidal. The two are former-teammates-turned-enemies, and there was a lot of excitement surrounding the possible fight.
Talk in the MMA community focused around the two potentially coaching the newest season of The Ultimate Fighter. And then, they would fight each other after the show. However, none of that came to fruition, as Masvidal was granted a rematch against welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, and they are now set to fight on April 24 at UFC 261.
One of Masvidal’s most famous opponents, Ben Askren, decided to take a jab at “Gamebred” on Twitter Wednesday. Askren and Masvidal fought in 2019, and Gamebred landed the fastest KO in UFC history: a flying knee in only five seconds. Askren would go on to retire after his next fight, a submission loss to Demian Maia.
“I can’t stand Colby, but let’s be real fake street Jesus (Masvidal) was afraid to fight him,” Askren wrote.
Masvidal responded to the tweet the next day, ripping into “Funky.”
“Just like when you told the whole world I was afraid to fight you and I went on to retire your a** in 5 seconds stfu. Now I’m going to fight the world champion so stfu x2 #andnew.”
A little while later, Covington responded to Askren’s tweet, agreeing with Funky that Masvidal was scared. “Truth is a force of nature,” Covington wrote.
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Masvidal Headlines UFC 261 for His Second Shot at UFC Gold
Usman and Gamebred originally fought in July 2020 on six days’ notice. They headlined UFC 251 in what was Masvidal’s first-ever title shot in the promotion. It was also “The Nigerian Nightmare’s” second title defense.
The contest went all five rounds with Usman controlling most of the action, neutralizing Masvidal’s offense. In the end, the judges scored the bout in favor of Usman (50–45, 50–45, 49–46).
Masvidal called for an instant rematch after the fight, saying that he didn’t have a full camp to prepare for The Nigerian Nightmare. And after Usman’s successful title defense against Gilbert Burns last month at UFC 258, he challenged Masvidal.
Usman wants to defeat Masvidal at UFC 261 in a much more stunning fashion to put a stamp on the rivalry.
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It’s Unclear When/Who Covington Will Fight Next
At the time after Covington’s win against Woodley in September, a fight between him and Masvidal made a lot of sense divisionally, as well as from an entertainment perspective. Burns was still waiting for his title shot against Usman and the winner of Covington vs. Masvidal could have produced the next top contender.
However, things worked out for Gamebred. Due to Usman directly challenging him, Masvidal didn’t have to risk his top spot by fighting “Chaos,” who is one of the best welterweights in the world.
For Covington, it’s unclear who he will fight next and when it will be. Rankings-wise, a fight with No. 5-ranked Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson could be a logical route for the UFC to take. Another option is Burns. Although Burns is coming off a loss to Usman, he’s still ranked No. 2 at 170 pounds.