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UFC star named as suspect in assault on fellow fighter

Five rounds in a cage at T-Mobile Arena earlier this month apparently wasn’t enough to settle the score between UFC stars Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington.

According to police, Masvidal is accused of running up on a man who was leaving Papi Steak restaurant in Miami Beach on Monday night and punching the man two times with a closed fist.

Covington was seen in videos posted to social media talking to police about the incident and is believed to be the victim. The name of the victim is redacted in the police report.

The two faced off in the main event of UFC 272 at T-Mobile Arena on March 5 with Covington winning a unanimous decision.

The incident is classified as a felony battery in the report, though formal charges have not yet been filed and Masvidal has not been arrested.

During the incident, Masvidal is alleged to have punched the victim twice and warned him, “You shouldn’t have been talking about my kids.”

Damage included a fractured left front tooth and a wrist abrasion. According to the victim, several other unknown men appeared so he ran back into the restaurant and called police

The perpetrator was wearing a hoodie and blue surgical mask, but the victim said he was able to identify Masvidal by his voice and distinctive hair flowing out of the hood.

Covington had been dining with several social media stars who were posting videos of their location during the meal, which could have led Masvidal to know where his rival was at the time.

The two fighters were once close friends and even roommates, but a falling out led to a rivalry and a nasty promotional campaign leading up to their fight.

Masvidal has accused Covington of failing to pay his coaches and disrespecting several fighters in their gym. Covington was kicked out of American Top Team in south Florida after the situation became untenable between him and several other mixed martial arts stars at the facility.

He has publicly lobbed nasty accusations and spewed hurtful rhetoric about them in the aftermath.

Police were able to obtain security footage of Monday night’s assault, though it has not been made public.

Masvidal took to social media several times after the incident with veiled messages believed to be aimed at Covington.

“Call this the show your face challenge,” Masvidal said in a video. “What’s up, I’m from Dade county. You talk that (expletive) you’ve got to back it up. That’s how my city rolls.”

He followed it up with a tweet that appeared to match the words from the police report.

“Good morning to everyone except those that think talking about someone’s kids is cool,” Masvidal wrote.

The 37-year-old may have foreshadowed the incident at the post-fight news conference in Las Vegas after their fight.

“He’s still somebody that if I see him out in the streets, I’m going to give him everything I’ve got to break his (expletive) jaw,” Masvidal said at the time. “It doesn’t matter if I lost wrestling scrambles tonight, I still think he’s a (expletive) (expletive).

Spokespeople for the police department and the UFC declined comment.

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on Twitter.

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