The story of Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington has been a classic friends-to-enemies story that has bubbled over into a potential grudge match in 2020. Yet as the rivalry is slowly building into a potential blockbuster welterweight showdown, not everyone is 100-percent on board.
Should Covington defeat Kamaru Usman at UFC 245 next month, there would be a high likelihood of Masvidal getting the fight with his former friend.
Masvidal’s head coach Mike Brown, who has previously worked with the polarizing Covington at American Top Team, would prefer a different option for his pupil to avoid an ATT vs. ATT matchup.
“The Covington thing is complex because it’s another guy who comes out of [American Top Team] so it has more complexities,” Brown explained in a recent interview with MMA Fighting. “I don’t necessarily like the idea of guys fighting each other. It doesn’t bother Jorge at all but I would prefer not to see that.
“I don’t necessarily like two American Top Team guys fighting each other. There’s a lot of complexities to it. Yeah, it’s a good problem to have but not necessarily great for the gym.”
Masvidal has had a storybook year in 2019 with two highlight reel knockouts of Darren Till and Ben Askren, along with capturing the “BMF” title with a third-round TKO win over Nate Diaz at UFC 244. The options are aplenty for “Gamebred”, but with the current state of his relationship with his former best friend, there are certainly personal reasons that would favor a fight with Covington.
Being a head coach of one of the top fighting gyms in the world, Brown is aware of the bizarre circumstances a fight between teammates can create.
“Each guy is maybe worried about the other guy’s coaches watching them train. Now you’re in a place where eyes are always watching you that are studying you,” Brown said. “It’s not a good feeling.
“It’s not an ideal situation, guys fighting each other. In a tournament or for a belt, it can happen but it’s not something that I like to see.”
While there is a clear rift between two of the top welterweights in the world under one roof, Brown confirms that both Masvidal and Covington will remain under the American Top Team banner moving forward.
“It’s a very tight family but it’s also very big,” Brown said. “Sometimes with families not everybody loves each other. Not everybody’s close.”
How do you see a fight between Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal playing out?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/25/2019.