Leaked Dustin Poirier training footage: Is it a big deal that Colby Covington showed Poirier dropping a sparring partner? (VIDEO)
On Tuesday, Covington finally made good on his promise to publish a video he had come into possession of which he claimed showed his former American Top Team training partner Poirier aggressively sparring with someone Covington described as an "amateur" while preparing to take on Khabib Nurmagomedov in his ultimately unsuccessful bid to claim UFC lightweight gold in 2019.
He also claimed that Poirier had aggressively shouted in the fallen sparring partner's face, while proclaiming "and new!"
Covington spoke to several members of the MMA media about the clip, even showing reporters the video during on-camera interviews but refused to publish it online - until the week of Poirier's pivotal third fight with Conor McGregor.
The guy wearing full nerf gear head to toe to protect his face and his feelings is Poirier. The guy with no headgear, wrestling credentials or brain cells left is “khabib.” @DustinPoirier Good guy? Bad guy? You be the judge👨⚖️ #AndNew#UFC264pic.twitter.com/EMMFwC2b4E— Colby Covington (@ColbyCovMMA) July 6, 2021
"Dustin is a complete joke," said Covington previously to MMA Fighting. "I have a video of him knocking out an amateur in the gym, and he’s celebrating, dancing around, yelling in the guy’s face. Dustin, who are you trying to impress? Dude, it’s a closed practice. You’re knocking out a guy that came to help you, and it’s an amateur.
"You knocked this kid out, gave him a concussion, left him senseless, his head’s shaking, you’re yelling in his face. What does that mean? Dude, you’re not a UFC world champion. You’re training for Khabib. This isn’t Khabib. You’re in a closed practice. Beating a guy that’s a humble amateur that came to help you out for your training camp, and you’re going to concuss this guy? And you’re screaming in his face, ‘And new,’ and ‘Woo?’ Dude, this guy is not what everybody says he is."
"The guy wearing full nerf gear head to toe to protect his face and his feelings is Poirier. The guy with no headgear, wrestling credentials or brain cells left is 'Khabib'," wrote Covington accompanying the clip.
"Dustin Poirier - Good guy? Bad guy? You be the judge."
However, the release of the supposedly incriminating video hasn't had the type of impact which Covington appeared to expect. Poirier was among those who responded to the leak, writing that the so-called "amateur" was in fact a veteran of the Titan FC fight league with 20 professional wins.
This is a pro fighter with 20 wins https://t.co/0rEGN3bf53— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) July 6, 2021
Another member of the American Top Team gym, Jorge Masvidal, who is a vocal critic of Covington's antics, also sprang to Poirier's defence and asked him why this was the sole video from the training room which he released online.
"Why don’t you post the video of Dustin Poirier dropping you with a body shot? Always hating on people with power," wrote 'Gamebred'.
And further dismissing Covington's claims, the other fighter in the brief clip also came forward - and indicated that he doesn't hold any blame towards Poirier for the incident.
"It was an intense sparring session, and things like that can happen in sparring," said Titan FC's Felipe Douglas, again to MMA Fighting. "There are some people saying I wasn’t wearing gear, but there was no reason to wear training gear, because Dustin trains well, he’s not mean. He hits hard like a fight and caught me and knocked me down. The cornerman took me off the cage and didn’t let me go back.
"As far as his celebration, people saying he was making fun – that’s the mindset of a guy that is fighting for a belt. I didn’t consider it disrespectful. I don’t do it, but that’s his mindset, envisioning the fight. He was about to fight for the belt, that’s his life."
You over sold and under delivered this video, you Said he did more than that and was in his face shouting "And New,..." Some might say you are spreading Fake news, I don't even find this that bad, the guy didn't have to get in the octagon so no big deal here imo— Jay (@JimiItsagas7t5) July 6, 2021
This really is a whole big nothing-burger. Standard shot, not much heat behind it, the guy chose not to use headgear, and Dustin is engaging in a bit of visualisation. Doesn't taunt the guy directly. Pfft, move on.— Grizz (@Boots__electric) July 6, 2021
Isn't this what he's supposed to do in sparring?— Anthony McWilliams (@JSharp1800) July 6, 2021
"You over sold and under delivered this video," said a fan addressing Covington in response. "You said he did more than that and was in his face shouting 'And New...' Some might say you are spreading fake news, I don't even find this that bad."
"This really is a whole big nothing-burger," said another. "Standard shot, not much heat behind it, the guy chose not to use headgear, and Dustin is engaging in a bit of visualisation. Doesn't taunt the guy directly. Pfft, move on."
"Isn't this what he's supposed to do in sparring?" asked another.
Covington, meanwhile, has yet to comment further since he initially leaked the video - but judging by the reaction of all involved, it certainly doesn't seem to have had the 'fox in the hen house' type of impact he might have expected.Also on rt.com Brazilian MMA stunner Viana takes heat after posing with UFC star Covington – who branded fans from her homeland ‘filthy animals’