Verbal Sparring and Speculation
After Jorge Masvidal vs. Leon Edwards was scrapped from UFC 269 earlier this week, this begs the question, who is next for Jorge Masvidal? Gamebred withdrew from the bout due to a still undisclosed injury but says he still has Edwards number 1 on his hit list.
Speaking to the MMA hour, Masvidal did not expand on the nature or cause of his injury but did say he still wants to fight ‘Rocky’ in his next bout. Masvidal said, “If he wants to wait until February or March, I can decapitate him on sight for the world to see.” However, fans have expressed their interest in seeing Masvidal coach the next series of The Ultimate Fighter against Colby Covington as the pair have a long and heated rivalry. After Covington fought Kamaru Usman at UFC 268, he said in his post-fight interview, “The personal rivalry and the heat on that [Masvidal] fight, there isn’t another fight to make like that in the UFC. Whether he pulls out of the Leon fight, we can do it in the first quarter of next year, we can do it in Miami.” These comments came shortly before Masvidal ended up having to withdraw from the fight, which prompted some speculation.
After the cancellation, Edwards made several comments stating he knew that Masvidal would withdraw and believed that he intended to all along. Speaking to ESPN, Edwards said, “I knew he was going to. I heard some news coming back that he was looking a bit fat, he was looking chubby still. I didn’t think he was training for it, to be honest. I always knew he was going to run away. It’s been three years since the incident in London, and he’s been dodging me ever since.” It seems unlikely that Edwards will wait for Masvidal to recover and has now made it clear he intends to wait for his long-awaited title shot in 2022.
Masvidal and Covington Rivalry
The pair’s rivalry has a long and exciting history. Masvidal and Covington are former roommates and American Top Team teammates. Masvidal alleged that Covington failed to pay one of his coaches after his interim title win in 2018, which fractured their close friendship. This incident coincided with Covington becoming a more outspoken ‘heel’ in the sport, and he began to publicly trash many of his fellow fighters and teammates, including Dustin Poirier and Jorge Masvidal. The pair have gone back and forth in interviews and on social media, and the feud shows no signs of slowing down.
The UFC recently announced that TUF had been renewed for a 30th season which will showcase men’s heavyweight and women’s flyweight fighters, this season does not yet have any team coaches announced. The UFC does have options in terms of coaches however, there is the possibility of Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz as a build-up for a third fight between the pair. With Edwards waiting for the next title shot though, a TUF season between Masvidal and Convington would be ideal for all parties and undoubtedly a treat for the fans.
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