Colby Covington recognized the assailant immediately away.
Covington was attacked outside of a restaurant in Miami Beach, Fla., on March 21 by a guy he identified to authorities as UFC competitor Jorge Masvidal. Masvidal was arrested shortly after the event and is now facing various offenses, including aggravated violence and criminal mischief.
Following the publication of film of Masvidal's arrest and processing, the YouTube channel Real World Police released audio of Covington's interview with police on Friday.
According to Covington, he was having a night out with a group of pals that included Bob Menery and Kyle Forgeard of the Nelk Boys when he was allegedly attacked by Masvidal while they were changing venues.
“As soon as we walk out, like, a bunch of people kind of bombarded us,” Covington told police. “They wanted pictures, a couple of people were asking me to sign gloves, like I signed four or five different gloves from three or four different fans. We were there for probably three to five minutes right outside Papi steakhouse and then we’re like, ‘Let’s get out of here. It’s time to go.’
“As soon as we’re about to walk across the street, I get sideswiped from the side, like I get punched in the mouth real quick and kind of get dizzed up and I look up and I see who it is, I can see in his eyes, it’s Jorge Masvidal. I can see his hair coming out of his hoodie, but he has a face mask on. A surgical face mask. But he’s saying, ‘You shouldn’t have f****** talked about my kids, you shouldn’t have f****** talked about my kids.’ So I was easily able to identify, like, that’s his voice, that’s his eyes, that’s his hair. I know exactly who that is and he took two quick punches to me.”
Covington recalls Masvidal not being alone. He claimed that after being struck, his initial instinct was to return to the steakhouse, where he eventually phoned the police.
The alleged altercation took occurred two weeks after Covington defeated Masvidal in the main event of UFC 272 on March 5 in Las Vegas. Covington and Masvidal had been locked in a long and very personal battle of words, a dispute that arose from a previous acquaintance.
“Yes, I do have a history of knowing this person because I lived with him for two years and we were training partners for eight years,” Covington said. “We were very close friends, we literally trained together every single day, we were best friends. Obviously, I just fought this individual two weeks ago in Las Vegas, Nevada, for the UFC on their pay-per-view and I beat him easily, so I know exactly what he looks like, his eyes, his hair.”
Covington can be heard in the new recording indicating a tooth injury as well as Masvidal's punches being strong enough to knock him out. Covington later claimed that the attack caused him to suffer a brain injury, which Masvidal's legal team denies.
“I definitely suffered an injury to my tooth,” Covington said on March 21. “He chipped my front tooth and knocked it out and the adrenaline’s still kind of going right now, but he definitely rocked me. I saw stars a little bit, but I stayed on my feet and I was just trying to get to safety. That’s all I was concerned about.”
Covington then stated that he was unable to locate his assailant after being attacked because his initial instinct was to return to the restaurant. He was positive, however, that Masvidal was the culprit in issue.
He went on to say that he believes Masvidal was driven to attack him because of personal insults he launched against Masvidal prior to their UFC 272 fight.