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Jorge Masvidal accused of causing Colby Covington brain damage in attack, given restraining order


Jorge Masvidal is accused of attacking UFC rival Colby Covington and causing him brain damage, according to court documents obtained by ESPN.

Masvidal, one of the UFC’s most popular fighters, pleaded not guilty to two felony charges Thursday morning in Miami. Masvidal is charged with aggravated assault and criminal mischief, stemming from an alleged March 21 attack in Miami Beach, Florida. On Thursday, the court issued a stay order to Masvidal. He can’t get within 25 feet of Covington.

The aggravated battery leader contains language that Masvidal struck Covington with a deadly weapon – his hands or his fists – and caused serious bodily harm (brain damage). The criminal mischief charge states that Masvidal caused more than $1,000 in damage to Covington’s property, in this case a watch.

Masvidal remains on conditional release. He was released on bail on March 24 following an arrest the previous day. Masvidal’s next court date is scheduled for May 12.

Mauricio Padilla and Brad Cohen, Masvidal’s legal team, indicated during the hearing that they will likely file a motion to inspect damage to the watch and Covington’s medical tests.

Masvidal and Covington were former best friends, roommates and sparring partners at American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Florida before becoming hated rivals.

On March 21, Masvidal allegedly punched a man in the face twice outside the Papi Steak restaurant in Miami Beach, according to an incident report obtained by ESPN via the Miami Beach Police Department. The report says the man suffered a broken tooth and $15,000 in damage to his $90,000 Rolex watch.

Covington’s name did not initially appear in law enforcement documents, but he now appears in court documents as the victim of the alleged attack. In a tweet, Masvidal wrote minutes after the alleged attack, Masvidal said in a video, “You talkin’ that s—, you gotta back it up. That’s how my city rolls, man.”

According to the incident report, Masvidal told Covington during the incident, “You shouldn’t have mentioned my kids.” It was a sticking point between the pair ahead of their UFC 272 main event on March 5 in Las Vegas. Masvidal took umbrage with the Covington trash when talking about his ex-wife, children and family.

Covington defeated Masvidal by unanimous decision at UFC 272. At the post-fight press conference, Masvidal made it clear that the feud between the two was not over and if he saw Covington in the area of Miami – where the two live – he wouldn’t hesitate to fight him.

Masvidal, 37, who grew up fighting on the streets of Miami, made his professional fighting debut in a backyard YouTube scrap alongside Kimbo Slice. He signed a lucrative new contract with the UFC ahead of the Covington fight that made him one of the highest-paid fighters on the roster, his reps said at the time. In 2019, Masvidal won the BMF belt by beating Nate Diaz at Madison Square Garden. Masvidal is a former two-time UFC welterweight title challenger.

Covington, 34, also challenged champion Kamaru Usman twice losing efforts. He, too, is one of the most popular – and best – fighters in the UFC. Covington and Masvidal had a messy split for the past three years, over what Masvidal says was a stiff trainer and Covington believes it was due to jealousy of his blossoming MMA career.

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