Jorge Masvidal, dominoes

Din Thomas: Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington’s relationship went “very south”

The storyline leading up to UFC 272 in March between Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington will be that of former teammates and close friends turned rivals. The two not only lived together during the younger stage of their respective careers, but they trained together as teammates at American Top Team in Florida.

As it goes, Masvidal and Covington had their own path with Masvidal starting his career off at lightweight and eventually moving to welterweight where he found his most success in 2019. Reeling off a three-fight win streak with spectacular finishes of Darren Till and Ben Askren, Masvidal would win the newly-created ‘BMF’ title against Nate Diaz, and those wins would lead him to a title fight.

At UFC 251 Jorge Masvidal stepped up on six days’ notice to face champion Kamaru Usman and although he’d lose by decision, they would run it back at UFC 261 where “Gamebred” would again come up short, this time by knockout. Those two fights left the door open for Covington to take aim at his former friend, labeling him with the nickname of “Street Judas” for the way they turned against each other.

Many changes came from the individual success of them both, and through those changes, Covington left American Top Team and Masvidal remained with the gym. One of the coaches who was a witness to the downfall between the two was Din Thomas, who has since left the team. This week, while co-hosting his weekly radio show on Sirius XM’s Fight Nation, Thomas was asked about how the relationship between Masvidal and Covington went south, and he said it went very south between the two.

“It went very south. And I think when you talk about the relationship that they had and how close they were, and then now that it’s south, I mean it went really south, cause they were really close. Now understand this, American Top Team is a big gym so there’s a lot of different factions and a lot of different groups and separation, so it’s not often that you see everybody every day. Especially a guy like Masvidal who lives in Miami which is like an hour-and-half drive there so he would only come up maybe once or twice a week and do his thing.

Now when he would come up, earlier on it would often at times be with Colby, so they would come in together and they would train together and they were boys.”

Recognizing the obvious differences in personalities between the two, Thomas would continue on to say that he always thought something about their friendship was strange. But shedding light on what ultimately brought led them to the downfall of their friendship, Thomas said it came from Covington not paying one of Masvidal’s coaches.

“That realtionship was always kind of weird to me. I don’t even know how they like each other, it was always kind of weird to me that they liked each other. They shared coaches, they had a really good relationship but it all came down to Colby not paying one of Jorge’s guys, one of Jorge’s longtime coaches. Colby allegedly didn’t pay him what he thought he should’ve been paid and one thing you know about Jorge because of his background you know that he is a street guy.

He is a guy from the street and with being a street guy comes a certain loyalty that you have with your people and he has that loyalty with his coach. And with came down to that beef between Colby and the coach, Jorge sided with the coach and that’s when it went sour. Jorge was like ‘Well, you not gonna pay him his money, we’re done here’ and that’s how the beef started.”

This story from Thomas is in line with something Jorge Masvidal said back in 2019 when he gave the same account of Covington not paying a coach, which ultimately led to their feud. The trash talk and bitter rivalry between the two is certain to carry on throughout the lead-up to the fight at UFC 272, and it’s clear these two former friends turned rivals, have a score to settle in the main event spotlight.

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