In a recent interview with political commentator Candace Owens, Colby Covington revealed how his tirades against Brazilians in 2017 saved his UFC career. According to “Chaos,” the UFC didn’t want to re-sign him despite his winning streak and ranking.
“So before (the Demian Maia fight), they told me no matter what happens, I was ranked No. 6 in the world, ‘We’re not re-signing you. We don’t like your character. We don’t like your fighting style,’” Covington said.
This admission drew mixed reactions, particularly from his fellow fighters. Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, for one, sees it as excuses on Covington’s part.
“This is him trying to make excuses why he’s going to get his ass kicked on Saturday night,” Usman said during Wednesday’s UFC 245 athlete panel at the MGM Grand (via MMA Junkie). “He’s already come out and said, ‘Oh, this is just an act.’ I don’t give a (expletive). He came out and said, ‘They were going to cut me, so it’s just an act.’ You (expletive) nerd. It doesn’t matter. After you get your ass kicked you can do whatever you want to do. I don’t care.”
Featherweight champion Max Holloway, on the other hand, was caught off guard.
“That’s heavy, because if you’re going to put on an act, you’ve got to stay with the act,” he said. “When you retire, like WWE guys, they come out, and they do their stuff, and they keep their act no matter where they’re at. Then they retire and go, ‘It was an act.’
“So I’m kind of surprised he just kind of came out nowhere and said that. It got me shook.”
Covington will headline his first pay-per-view event this Saturday, December 14th in Las Vegas against Kamaru Usman. It will be preceded by two other title fights: a women’s bantamweight bout between Amanda Nunes and Germaine de Randamie and a featherweight tiff between Max Holloway and Alexander Volkanovski.