The feuds, rivalries and bad blood still to be settled in the UFC…

Paulo Costa is still furious with ‘human trash’ Israel Adesanya, Colby Covington’s friendship with Jorge Masvidal went sour and Brian Ortega sparked a feud with Chan Sung Jung by slapping his translator – ongoing bad blood boiling up in the UFC

  • Paulo Costa is still furious with Israel Adesanya and their feud is rumbling on 
  • Adesanya also has a rivalry with Jon Jones and the pair have clashed online 
  • Colby Covington has bad blood with Jorge Masvidal but they used to be friends 
  • Brian Ortega and Chan Sung Jung will settle their score on October 17   

A fierce rivalry is the lifeblood of any huge UFC fight and can attract fans like nothing else. 

Some of the biggest names in MMA possess a genuine dislike of their fellow competitors and the likes of Israel Adesanya and Colby Covington have more than one ongoing feud.   

Here, Sportsmail takes a look at the current bad blood in the UFC, how it started and where it might go from here.  

Israel Adesanya demolished Paulo Costa but the Brazilian is raging and wants a rematch

Israel Adesanya & Paulo Costa 

Usually, right after a fight there is a mutual respect between the opponents and any trash talking from before the contest is put to bed. 

But Adesanya was having none of that. After Costa shared numerous memes, one of him holding his rival’s severed head prior to the one-sided victory for the champion at the weekend, Adesanya basked in the victory. 

He mimicked a sexual act behind Costa after knocking him out which Costa only saw in footage afterwards. 

Seething, the Brazilian posted a video demanding a rematch and branding Adesanya ‘human trash’ for disrespecting him like that. 

Adesanya’s response has been to continually mock the challenger, who he demolished in the second round and while there is no appetite from anyone but Costa for a rematch, this feud is likely to run for a long time.  

The champion mimicked a sex act behind Costa after knocking him out, to Costa’s fury

Colby Covington & Jorge Masvidal 

The depth to this rivalry is more interesting than most UFC feuds and these two welterweights may well end up fighting each other soon. 

Both Masvidal and Covington were team-mates and friends at American Top Team and on occasion even cornered each other for fights. 

But as Covington started to market himself as the pantomime villain, a divide opened up. The friendship also soured after Masvidal claimed Covington did not pay his coach after beating Rafael dos Anjos in 2018. 

Jorge Masvidal (right) and Colby Covington (left) are friends turned enemies in the UFC 

Masvidal (R) and Covington (L) developed together at American Top Team under Dan Lambert

The pair have been publicly trading barbs ever since and now seem to be on a collision course. 

Covington calls Masvidal ‘Street Judas’, a play on ‘Street Jesus’ that the long-haired BMF champion refers to himself as. 

And Masvidal has explained that Covington left American Top Team as he didn’t feel safe anymore. He also hit out saying: ‘What type of teammate or man – he’s not a man – with the sport that we’re in, (would) insult a woman? He insulted Joanna (Jedrzejczyk). He insulted Amanda (Nunes). 

‘I get it. You’re trying to do this thing where you’re some kind of heel. What’s that have to do with a woman? A 115-pound woman or a 135-pound woman? Are you going to compete against them? Are you going to sell more pay-per-views because you’re talking about Amanda and Joanna? Answer me that.’

‘Chaos’ claims that Masvidal was overwhelmed by jealous rage, and could not handle the fact that his team-mate was getting the publicity he craved.  

The 32-year-old called out his former training partner after his win over Tyron Woodley

Conor McGregor & Khabib Nurmagomedov

There has been a slight easing of tensions between both men after McGregor sent condolences following the death of Khabib’s father earlier this year. 

And yet it still remains one of the biggest feuds in MMA, even if it lies dormant at the moment. The build-up to their now infamous fight in October 2018 was toxic. 

It started with McGregor throwing a metal dolly at the Dagestani through a bus window in New York after flying out with his team to confront Khabib for cornering Artem Lobov. 

Khabib Nurmagomedov beat Conor McGregor but it was overshadowed by the brawl

McGregor was prosecuted for it but the run-in to their T-Mobile Arena showdown was fuelled by the Irishman spewing venom towards the champion. 

He branded Khabib a ‘Dagestani rat’ and mocked his religion, calling him a ‘backwards c***’ for refusing to drink his own branded whiskey.  

It became incredibly personal and spilled over after the fight into a brawl. Khabib sealed victory but jumped the cage and attacked McGregor’s team-mate Dillon Danis. Then Khabib’s team-mates jumped in the cage to attack McGregor. 

It was mayhem and both fighters were hit with huge fines and suspensions. 

A rematch is highly likely to happen one day and may well be the biggest MMA fight of all time, breaking records from their first encounter.  

Both fighters were subsequently handed fighting bans by Nevada State Athletic Commission

Israel Adesanya & Jon Jones 

Two of the most dangerous fighters in the sport, both with legitimate claims at being the current pound-for-pound king. 

They appear to have a serious dislike of each other too. In his post-fight press conference, Adesanya claimed he still wanted to ‘f*** up’ Jones, despite the fact that ‘Bones’ is moving up to heavyweight, two divisions above the middleweight champion. 

The Nigerian’s comments provoked a reaction from Jones, who fired back on social media by claiming that he would ‘literally tear one of your arms off’ if he stepped up.

UFC legend Jon Jones (pictured) has reignited his war of words with Israel Adesanya

He fired back on social media by claiming he would ‘literally tear one of Adesanya’s arms off’

‘You’ve stepped into the ring over 100 times now, and you’re still not ready!?’ Jones wrote in a now-deleted comment on Instagram. ‘You have a youth advantage and like four times the fighting experience. 

‘The truth is you’re already my p****, you love being undefeated and you’ve seen what’s happened to everyone else. It raises your stock to mention my name, you’re aware of this.’ 

In April, Adesanya goaded Jones on Twitter by asking him: ‘Hey p**** you still there… @JonnyBones’ before Jones responded with a picture of Adesanya receiving oxygen after his sole knockout defeat as a professional kickboxer. 

He accompanied the image with a caption that read: ‘Wasting all that good oxygen. Someone wake this b**** up and change his tampon.’ 

The Nigerian responded by hitting out at the 33-year-old’s criminal record and tendency to delete his tweets after he’s sent them.

Adesanya claimed he’d still ‘f*** up’ Jones following his emphatic win at UFC 253

The middleweight champion made a dig suggesting Jones is using him for more clout

Brian Ortega & Chan Sung Jung 

This featherweight rivalry came about in bizarre circumstances. 

Ortega slapped Korean rapper Jay Park. Park has worked with Chan Sung Jung as his translator in the past and worked an ESPN interview with his compatriot. 

He said: ‘It doesn’t matter (if it’s Max) Holloway, (Alexander) Volkanovski, or Ortega. But Ortega already ducked (me) once. (I) don’t need to fight a fighter that’s already ducked (me) one time.’ 

Ortega took offence but later said the beef was over with Jung after they made amends in Korea but then he added: ‘Now you just a (expletive) dawg. Jay Park welcome to the fight game don’t be surprised if I slap the (expletive) out of you when I see you. Having an injury and ducking are 2 different things.’

Brian Ortega (left) is preparing to fight Chan Sung Jung and put their animosity to bed

Ortega then did just that at UFC 248 and was escorted from the arena by security. 

Jung wrote afterwards: ‘For two hours nothing happened, so I thought everything was fine. But you f****** attacked Jay Park while I went to the bathroom. Jay Park is not a professional fighter but a musician. You slapped a civilian who merely helped translate.

‘Even worse, you were sitting there waiting until I would be absent and attacked Jay Park. It was not a fight like real men would do. What you have done is same as a grown up to beat a child. You should have attacked me. If so, I would have not been upset. You are such a coward for slapping a musician not a fighter.’

Ortega apologised, tweeting: ‘I want to officially apologize to JPark for Saturday night, when Zombie is ready we can fight.’

On October 17 they are doing just that and there will be huge interest in the contest. 

The highly-anticipated match-up is fast approaching and should be one to watch 

Colby Covington & Kamaru Usman  

There is no love lost between these two. The build-up to Usman’s title fight with Covington was incredibly heated and had a political slant to it. 

Covington was the anti-immigration, MAGA hat-wearing challenger and Usman, son of an immigrant from Nigeria represented the antithesis to the persona his challenger was putting forward. 

The pair even clashed in a Las Vegas hotel by a buffet and Covington says Usman, his manager Ali Abdelaziz and another member of their team started trying to fight him with children and a pregnant lady in the vicinity. 

Colby Covington (left) had his jaw broken by Kamaru Usman (right) and lost their fight 

When the pair met in a title fight at the end of last year, it was Usman who somewhat poetically broke the jaw of his opponent en route to victory. 

But Covington has bounced back well with wins over Robbie Lawler and Tyron Woodley and wants another shot at the belt. 

In the wake of his win over Woodley his divisive rhetoric crossed the line into overt racism when Usman was asking about the congratulatory phone call between Covington and Trump on Sunday night in his role as ESPN analyst.

Covington retorted: ‘Who did you get a call from? You get a call from, frickin’, your little tribe? They give you some smoke signals for you? You’re a joke . . . You’re fake news.’ 

Covington has since bounced back and is desperate for a rematch with the champion

Covington also claims that the first fight was unfair. 

He told BT Sport: ‘Going into the fight, I’ve got to be smart with who I pick my ref you know Marc Goddard completely f***** me, man.

‘I kicked him in the liver and he’s about to fold like a lawn chair and quit the fight and be done but ‘ohhh my nuts’.

‘He faked the nut shot. On the replay it obviously showed it was clearly in his liver. His organs were hurting and he just wanted a five minute break and that’s what he got.’

The animosity between the pair is genuine and it seems a matter of time before they meet again, although Gilbert Burns is next for the champion. 




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