Masvidal is coming off a dominant unanimous decision loss to former training partner and roommate Colby Covington at UFC 272. After his defeat, Masvidal told Joe Rogan in the cage that he was off-beat with his wrestling, he was flat-footed, and he was just didn’t have it.
Smith Sounds Off
Monday Morning on ESPN’s First Take, Stephen A. Smith ripped Masvidal for his post-fight UFC 272 comments.
Before the eventual digs, he prefaced that he really likes Masvidal and is a big fan.
“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,” Smith said. “But Colby Covington showed that he’s on a different level from a wrestling standpoint, and from a stamina standpoint.”
The popular ESPN analyst then laid into ‘Gamebred.’
“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,” Smith said. 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. Let’s get some more.’ He was literally using two security personnel to lean on because that’s how exhausted he was. 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.”
Ouch. Does Smith have a point? Maybe.
Masvidal is surrounded by elite wrestlers at American Top Team and even bought in three-time NCAA Division I National Champion Bo Nickal for this camp.
Covington’s wrestling just might be…DIFFERENT.
Masvidal is now on the first three-fight losing streak of his career and will look to rebound in his next fight.