Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Masvidal was scheduled to be arraigned in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida in Miami on Thursday morning. The popular UFC welterweight was not present at the hearing as the date was reset for April 28, per Judge Zachary L. James.
The 37-year-old faces two separate felony charges related to the alleged attack against Covington which took place this past month. The more serious charge is the aggravated battery with a mask, which carries a potential prison sentence up to 15 years and/or a $10,000 fine. Police responded to a call and later stated in a report that the victim, who MMA Fighting identified as Covington, told authorities that he was leaving Papi Steak Restaurant in Miami Beach when the alleged assailant ran up and punched him twice. Covington suffered a fractured tooth and an abrasion on his wrist from the assault.
Masvidal is also facing a felony criminal mischief charge after Covington told police that $15,000 worth of damage was done to a $90,000 Rolex that he was wearing during the altercation. In Florida, criminal mischief with damages over $1,000 is considered a third-degree felony. “Gamebred” was arrested a couple of days later, was released on $15,000 bond, and entered a written plea of not guilty, along with a demand for a trial by jury.
The rivalry between Masvidal and Covington stems back years after having a close relationship as friends and training partners at American Top Team. The bad blood boiled over into a main event bout at UFC 272 in March, which Covington won via unanimous decision.