After utterly dominating ex-champion Tyron Woodley before scoring a fifth-round TKO victory in the main event of UFC Vegas 11 this past weekend, Colby Covington has once again made it clear that he’s among the best 170 pounders in the world.
And moving forward, Covington appears to know what he would like next, as he called out both champion Kamaru Usman, whom he suffered a fifth-round stoppage loss against in a back-and-forth war last December, and Jorge Masvidal following his win over Woodley.
From the outside looking in, it would seem as if Covington vs. Masvidal is the fight to make for multiple reasons. First off, Usman is expected to defend his title against Gilbert Burns in December, taking him out of the equation for Covington. And secondly, not only are Covington and Masvidal two of the top-ranked fighters in the division but they have quite a history as former friends and training partners turned bitter rivals.
The only issue with that idea, however, is that Masvidal has recently been rumored to be in talks for a potential rematch against Nate Diaz that would take place early next year. Covington, however, feels as if a bout between him and “Gamebred” is a more meaningful one and one that needs to occur in order to settle the bad blood between the two.
“Absolutely, (Masvidal vs. me is) a bigger fight,” Covington said via MMAJunkie.com. “Everybody knows Nate Diaz is done. He hasn’t been relevant in five, six years. The guy fights once every couple of years. He’s got nothing left in the tank. He’s had so many fights. He’s got CTE. He shouldn’t even be fighting anymore. It’s a shame. His coaches, I feel bad that they let him go in the octagon anymore. So they need to do this fight with me and Jorge.
“He’s been talking recklessly in the media. He’s been saying all this (expletive). ‘Oh, it’s on sight,’ this and that. OK, come back up your words. I back up my words. All the talk I say, I talk the talk, and I walk the walk. Let’s see, ‘Street Judas’ Masvidal.”
Speaking of the Diaz brothers, the 32-year-old Colby Covington also discussed the idea of facing off with Nick Diaz, who is reportedly planning a comeback for early 2021 after having not competed since January 2015.
“I would love to fight Nick,” Covington said. “He’s a high-pressure fighter. I’d love to fight him and it would be an easy fight. I’d definitely retire him just like I retired Tyron Woodley (on Saturday). Nick Diaz would never fight again, I promise you, after I got done with him.”
While the elder Diaz brother has always remained a popular name within the sport of mixed martial arts, it’s been quite some time since he’s last fought and even longer since he’s last won. And at age 37, it’s just not clear what type of form he’d return in, which is why it may not make a ton of sense for him to be matched up against an elite level contender like Covington.
Covington vs. Masvidal, however, has all the makings of a marquee fight. Perhaps the UFC should strike while the iron is hot and book it.
Long Island-based sports writer covering MMA, Boxing, and the New York Jets.