Colby “Chaos” Covington and Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal’s saga had taken many twists and turns, even up this week when Masvidal ran up on Covington in a swanky Miami restaurant and put the paws on him.
However, the fallout was swift and varied by perspective. From law enforcement’s vantage point, Masvidal committed a criminal act and was subsequently arrested and charged with aggravated battery causing great bodily harm. In Dade County, Florida, the charges are a second-degree felony if convicted.
Eventually, Masvidal surrendered himself to local authorities and was booked before his release on bond.
Word Around The MMA Water Cooler
Former and current UFC fighters are taking sides in this very personal beef, with one former champion who had the highest-profile beef in UFC history weighing in.
Khabib, “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov, is comfortably retired as the former undefeated UFC lightweight champion, and he dished on the altercation between Masvidal and Covington.
“If you are stranger than someone inside the octagon, it does not mean that you an insult his children,” Khabib said on Twitter. “No one has the right to insult someone’s family. Once you have gone down this path, then be ready to back up your words.”
Masvidal alluded in a social media video that he came for Covington in the streets because he talked about his children. The video felt like an admission of guilt for many and a justifiable reason to exact rough justice for others.
“You were attacked by (a) professional fighter, the same as you are, your own size, and you go press charges against the police?” Khabib continued.
“I think all welterweights should refuse to fight Colby, just don’t accept fights with him, let him sit without a fight, without a fight, it will probably significantly affect him and all fighters who even think of insulting families, who is provoking the fighters to look for someone in restaurants to deal with him.”
The Eagle Strikes
Back in 2018, after securing a fourth-round neck crank to finish Conor McGregor at UFC 229 and keep his lightweight title, Nurmagomedov flew across the Octagon cage to attack a McGregor teammate.
It was the culmination of months of bullying where McGregor insulted Khabib’s Islamic marital traditions, like his wife wearing a hijab, calling her a “towel.”
McGregor also attacked a vehicle holding Khabib for transport in the belly of the Barclays Center after he and a McGregor teammate had an incident at the host hotel back in April 2018 during a media day for UFC 223.
The Eagle Morality Clause
Khabib would only fight twice more after defeating McGregor before retiring after the death of his father-trainer. However, his morality and strict code of respect have been ubiquitous for his brand. For Khabib, there are sports, and then there is real life, and McGregor blurred the line to sell tickets and pay-per-views.
With Covington and Masvidal suffering a similar fate where the in-cage action has spilled into real-life consequences, Khabib sees it as Covington crossing a very real boundary.
Aside from scolding Covington for pressing charges against a fellow professional fighter, he is urging all in the division to refuse to fight the UFC’s latest heel to send a message about what is and isn’t acceptable in combat sports.