Stephen A. Smith was not a fan of Jorge Masvidal’s performance at UFC 272 and what he said after the fight.
Masvidal was headlining the card against Colby Covington in a highly-anticipated fight as the two are former roommates and best friends turned bitter rivals. In the lead-up to the scrap, Masvidal vowed to leave “Chaos” in the hospital but in the end, it was Covington winning a dominant decision and after the fight “Gamebred” said he wasn’t ready for the wrestling and felt flat-footed.
For Smith, he doesn’t understand how Jorge Masvidal wasn’t prepared to go 25 hard minutes full of wrestling and ripped him for his performance.
“I’m a huge, huge Masvidal fan. I think he’s great for the sport because he’s got knockout power in both punches, he can obviously use that knee very well and he has improved his wrestling,” Stephen A. Smith said on ESPN’s First Take. “But Colby Covington showed that he’s on a different level from a wrestling standpoint, and from a stamina standpoint. One of the things that I paid attention to coming into this fight is something that Colby Covington said. Because he knew him and they were former best friends and roommates turned enemies, Covington said, ‘Masvidal trains for his fights; I live this.’ What he was talking about is he is always in shape. He’s never out of shape.
“He’s renowned for his condition and the pressure he’s able to apply and how he never lets up because he keeps on coming. I saw Masvidal gutsy and survive the five rounds, but while he was waving Covington on to come on, ‘Let’s get some more.’ He was literally using two security personnel to lean on because that’s how exhausted he was,” Smith continued. “Covington looked like he was just starting. He was that energized. The guy is in phenomenal shape, he’s an outstanding wrestler and Masvidal admitted that his wrestling was flat. 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.”
With the loss to Covington, Jorge Masvidal is now on a three-fight losing streak and likely out of the welterweight title picture.
Cole Shelton covers MMA for BJPenn.com, MMANews, and MyMMANews.com while also being the lead MMA odds writer for Sports Betting Dime