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John McCarthy explains why Colby Covington will never ‘be an exciting fighter’

Former referee ‘Big John’ McCarthy talks about Colby Covington’s UFC 272 performance and overall fighting style.

Colby Covington’s UFC 272 performance is now garnering mixed reviews. For respected boxing analyst and former trainer Teddy Atlas, “Chaos” showed a side of his striking game that people aren’t giving him enough credit for.

Former referee and Bellator color commentator “Big John” McCarthy saw it slightly differently. Long story short, he doesn’t see Covington as a fighter that people would generally want to watch.

“Colby Covington is never gonna be an exciting fighter. I’m sorry,” McCarthy told Josh Thomson in a recent episode of their Weighing In podcast. “He’s just not exciting. He’s good. I will not take anything away from him. But, he doesn’t have a ton of punching power. He throws punches at times that you look and you go, ‘That was not good.’

“He’s able to get away with it because he’s got that pressure. And the pressure that he has… you’ve got to give it to him. He’s got a good chin, ‘cause he’ll take a shot. He takes shots and he comes back, he responds.

“I don’t want to take anything away from Colby, ‘cause he fought a good fight. Fought a tough fight. Fought a smart fight. He is a grinder. People want excitement. He’s not gonna be that guy that’s really exciting. He just doesn’t have that type of style.”

McCarthy did give props to Covington’s performance that night.

“But he is good,” he said. “And he is a guy that, you know what? He can take on a lot of guys just based upon his wrestling ability and his pressure. Because his pressure is difficult to deal with.

“He is in your face, he’s stepping back, he’s taking one step back, and also, he’s coming forward. Right away, putting pressure on you, forcing you towards the cage. He’s good at what he does.”

Covington won the fight via unanimous decision and took home a $50K bonus for Fight of the Night.