Colby Covington, one of the UFC’s most notorious trolls, has an image to uphold. But according to UFC light heavyweight contender Anthony Smith, who will challenge Jon Jones for the title at UFC 235, ‘Chaos’ is rather timid behind closed doors.
Smith got into a Twitter exchange with Covington last week and, speaking to Luke Thomas on a recent episode of The MMA Hour, ‘Lionhart’ explained why he reacted so hostile to the former UFC interim welterweight champion.
“The only reason I said anything in that situation to Colby is because, a month ago when Colby was going off about losing his own title shot, he threw me under the bus almost to defend himself for needing one,” Smith said, per MMA Fighting’s Shaun Al-Shatti. “Like, ‘Well, Anthony Smith got one and he’s a piece of shit, so why can’t I get one?’ And I just, it’s the same with the Luke Rockhold thing. Like, I just hate people that are just assholes for no reason.”
Covington has insulted just about every fighter on the UFC roster, and the 30-year-old has become somewhat of a wanted man in Brazil after calling Demian Maia’s countrymen ‘filthy animals’ in his UFC Fight Night 119 post-fight interview in 2017.
According to Smith, however, Covington acts like a ‘scared cat’ when the cameras aren’t rolling and revealed that the American Top Team product has to distance himself from other UFC fighters in private.
“My manager owns a gym in Chicago, so when we were both there fighting on that card (at UFC 225), I just trained at my manager’s gym because it’s more comfortable there,” Smith said. “Typically, I would stay in the host hotel with everyone else. But it’s not anywhere close to where the hotel was — it was a significant jaunt away. So I’m there working out and Colby comes in, because he has to find somewhere as far away from UFC fighters as he can get to train, not knowing that it’s owned by one of the managers of some of the guys in the UFC. And then he gets there and he’s the most skittish person I’ve ever seen.
“He looks like a scared cat when he’s not around all the cameras — and I understand what he’s doing, I get it, but he’s put himself in a position where he can’t just be a normal person in normal places anymore because he’s pissed everybody off. So, he has to hide off in the corner of the gym the whole time and keep looking over his shoulder because he doesn’t know who wants to come in and slap him in the back of the head, and that’s how he is away from the cameras and everyone else. And that’s my only issue, is that he’s just attacking people who are not in his way. It’d be like me attacking ‘55ers. Like, what’s the point of that? I don’t understand how that puts you forward in your career anymore.”
Covington was expected to challenge former teammate Tyron Woodley in a welterweight title unification bout, but the controversial UFC star was passed over by top-three contender Kamaru Usman, who will fight ‘T-Wood’ in the UFC 235 co-main event.
UFC 235 also features a headlining light heavyweight championship bout between Jones and Smith, with the blockbuster event scheduled to take place next month, March 2nd at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.