Covington (17-3 MMA, 12-3 UFC) was last seen in action when he scored a lopsided unanimous decision over former training partner Jorge Masvidal in March 2022 at UFC 272. The win kept him sitting at No. 2 spot in the UFC’s welterweight rankings, but Cormier thinks being inactive will only hurt him.
“He won his last fight, but time has passed,” Cormier said on his ESPN show DC & RC. “Time is passing, and being idle isn’t the best thing for a guy in a division that’s constantly moving. But the moment Colby Covington starts to re-insert himself, he’ll be loud, he’ll be boisterous, he’ll have a lot to say, and people will start to pay attention. And then right away he’s back relevant, because we have not seen anyone but Kamaru Usman for a really long time solve the puzzle that is Colby Covington.
“So, I think he will be relevant for a while, but I think he needs to get rolling again, because momentum is key in this sport. And when you don’t have momentum, nobody’s really checking for you, and I think Colby Covington needs to make sure he doesn’t find himself in that place where he is in no man’s land out on an island by himself.”
Covington’s inactivity is likely due to Masvidal allegedly assaulting him outside of Miami Beach, Fla., restaurant just weeks after their fight, resulting in Masvidal’s arrest two days later. Covington claimed he was punched twice by Masvidal, who allegedly chipped his front tooth and knocked it out.
Masvidal was charged with single counts of felony aggravated battery resulting in great bodily harm and criminal mischief, and entered written pleas of not guilty. He has a pre-trial hearing set for Feb. 15, with an anticipated trial date of Feb. 27.
If found guilty, Masvidal could face up to 15 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine for second-degree felony aggravated battery with additional penalties possible for the criminal mischief charge.
Despite the ongoing case, Masvidal has been booked for his next fight. He takes on Gilbert Burns in the UFC 287 co-main event on April 8.