If you want politics out of your sports, then this article isn’t for you.
It’s hardly a secret that UFC welterweight contender Colby Covington has great admiration for US President Donald Trump, such that he was able to visit the White House and meet Trump at the Oval Office last year.
In his first fight since that meeting, Covington took apart legendary former UFC champion Robbie Lawler in Saturday’s UFC Newark main event, likely cementing a title shot. As he said earlier in the week, President Trump’s sons Donald Jr and Eric were cageside at the Prudential Center. In fact, they were there since the early portion of the preliminary card. UFC cameras panned to them during the broadcast, and when Covington referenced “the first family” during his post-fight interview, praising them for “keeping America great.”
President Trump tweeted out his support for Covington prior to the main event, although his timing drew heavy criticism in the replies given it came just minutes after he tweeted about the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, which killed at least 20 people in one of the deadliest massacres in US history.
After the bout, UFC cameras filmed Covington on the phone being congratulated by the President. He has since thanked Trump on Twitter.
Thank you for the phone call and always supporting me Mr. President!Thank you to the first family @DonaldJTrumpJr @EricTrump & @kimguilfoyle for coming out front row and cheering me on! If people thought tonight was a landslide, wait until the 2020 election! God bless America!— Colby Covington (@ColbyCovMMA) August 3, 2019
Covington is expected to take on reigning champion Kamaru Usman on a date to be determined. They’ve wasted no time beefing with each other, needing security to separate them to prevent any physical altercation.
Whatever you may think of the Trumps and/or Covington, their relationship (aided by UFC president Dana White’s own longtime connections and support of Trump) is a storyline now and figures to be a major one moving forward.