The mutual loathing between Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington is genuine rather than an act, according to Michael Bisping.
The welterweight rivals face each other in the main event of UFC 272 in one of the most highly-anticipated grudge matches in the company’s history.
Over recent years, the depth of ill-feeling between them has become apparent and they have gone from close friends to fierce rivals.
Michael Bisping says the bad blood is real between Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington
The pair used to train together and were close friends but the fell out dramatically
Covington’s schtick has been to be the pantomime villain, helping to sell fights by at the very least exaggerating his personality to another level.
He aligned himself closely with Donald Trump and has unashamedly offended whoever he wishes to offend.
But Bisping is of the belief that when it comes to Masvidal, there is sincere hatred between both of them.
On his YouTube channel, he said: ‘Everyone that you speak to, by the way, says, “No, listen, Colby is a really good dude, he’s just selling fights, he’s putting on a persona.”
‘And maybe that’s true. If he’s doing it, if he is acting, then give the man a f***ing Oscar because he is acting his socks off each and every time.’
The ‘Nigerian Nightmare’ overcame Colby Covington in November last year
He added: ‘This stuff, going after Masvidal’s ex-wife, calling him a bad father and stuff like that, I don’t think that’s playing a part.
‘I mean listen, any time two guys know each other, when they used to live with one another like they did, they know a lot of personal stuff about one another and then that’s when the rivalry or the hatred, for want of a better word, can get real thick.’
Masvidal claims the origin of the breakdown in their relationship came when Covington refused to pay their coach money he owed.
While ‘Chaos’ argues that Masvidal started to become jealous and bitter over the success he was starting to have after changing up his persona.
The build-up to their March clash is likely to be extremely heated and is a dream for pay-per-view sales for the UFC.
Jorge Masvidal (left) was knocked out by Kamaru Usman in his previous UFC fight