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Fighters defend Dustin Poirier after Colby Covington leaks sparring video: ‘Nothing dirty about it’

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It’s UFC 264 fight week, and Colby Covington has stirred the pot.

On Tuesday, Covington released the previously teased video of Dustin Poirier dropping a teammate in sparring to his social media platforms and accused him of being dirty. Fighters, however, largely were quick to defend Poirier, shrugging off his actions as nothing out of the ordinary based on what the video shows.

The timing of Covington’s leak comes five days before Poirier’s highly anticipated trilogy fight against Conor McGregor.

The video shows Poirier (27-6 MMA, 20-6 UFC), in full protective gear, punching and dropping a sparring partner. Shortly after the unnamed fighter crumples to the canvas against the cage, Poirier lets out an, “And new!” bellow.

“The guy wearing full nerf gear head to toe to protect his face and his feelings is Poirier,” Covington wrote on Twitter. “The guy with no headgear, wrestling credentials or brain cells left is ‘Khabib.’ @DustinPoirier Good guy? Bad guy? You be the judge.”

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The clip, which Covington teased in an interview with MMA Junkie in May, is not from Poirier’s training camp for his title challenge against Khabib Nurmagomedov – nor is it an amateur who was dropped, MMA Junkie’s Mike Bohn has learned.

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While the video provides insight not often seen in the public eye, many fighters, including UFC veterans past and present, jumped to Poirier’s defense to explain that the scene isn’t unusual for those sparring at the highest level.

Jorge Masvidal

Like many of his other relationships with former American Top Team training partners, Covington's link with Poirier has soured. Shortly after Covington took on his brash, trash-talking persona, Poirier became a target. Since that time, Poirier has unequivocally expressed his distaste for Covington – a sentiment shared by fellow ATT staples including Jorge Masvidal and Joanna Jedrzejczyk, among others. Masvidal publicly defended Poirier on Twitter and claimed there is footage of Poirier dropping Covington with a body shot in sparring. https://twitter.com/GamebredFighter/status/1412469558858768385?s=20

Former UFC fighter Isaac Vallie Flagg

https://twitter.com/IKEVF/status/1412465525322571784?s=20 https://twitter.com/IKEVF/status/1412469370152968192?s=20

Cody Durden

MMA prospect Aaron Hughes

Kenny Florian

https://twitter.com/kennyflorian/status/1412472012304441353

Former Invicta fighter Marina Shafir

https://twitter.com/marinashafir/status/1412473364535521282?s=21 UFC 264: Poirier vs. McGregor 3 takes place Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The main card streams on ESPN+ pay-per-view after prelims on ESPN/ESPN+.

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