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Unapologetic Colby Covington explains why post-fight antics weren't 'that offensive'


SAO PAULO – Colby Covington says the backlash to his post-fight comments following his victory over Demian Maia in Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 119 co-headliner are unjust.

After handing Maia (25-8 MMA, 19-8 UFC) a bloody unanimous-decision loss in the welterweight bout at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo, Covington (13-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) called Brazilians “filthy animals” and labeled the country “a dump.” Covington had to be rushed out of the octagon by security, and he said the experience was certainly something unique.

“That was unlike anything I’ve ever been through in my life,” Covington told MMAjunkie following the event. “Beer bottles flying across my head. I got hit a couple times by a couple bottles, but the security did a good job. There was like 20 guys huddled over me making sure my head was low. (UFC exec) Reed Harris said he had to pull some guy out of the stands that hit me with a bottle. Man, it was chaos. And that’s what comes with my nickname. I enjoyed it. I had a great time out there. It was a lot of fun.”

Covington’s comments received a noticeable amount of backlash, with several of his teammates at American Top Team criticizing him in bold fashion. Covington claims he was held out of the UFC Fight Night 119 post-event news conference, and UFC exec Dave Shaw told the media that the company was unhappy with the fighter and would review the situation to see if Covington had violated the UFC code of conduct.

“Chaos” said he feels the amount of negative feedback from both the UFC, his fellow fighters and the public is unwarranted. Moreover, he refused to accept any blame or make excuses for his comments.

“I don’t walk back anything I said because I don’t think I said anything that offensive,” Covington said. “Look at the stuff they’re saying to me all week, the stuff in the walkout. They’re saying, ‘Oh, you’re a (expletive). You’re going to die. You’re a (expletive). You’re this.’ Homophobic slurs. All these different super-nasty remarks. Where’s the double standard at?

“They can say these things, but I say, ‘Oh, the place is a dump’ and ‘they’re filthy animals’ just as a game? This is a game to me. I’m just having fun with it. I’m just trying to promote and make it fun for the fans. How am I taking criticism from that? Look at what they’re saying to me. Stop having a double standard.”

Controversy aside, Covington left UFC Fight Night 119 with the biggest victory of his career. Besides a first round where he ate numerous clean punches and sustained a cut, Covington largely had his way with the former two-time UFC title challenger. Afterward, he called out current UFC welterweight champ Tyron Woodley (18-3-1 MMA, 8-2-1 UFC).

Covington pushed his current winning streak to five consecutive fights with the performance against Maia. He admitted he wasn’t thrilled by his showing, but the 29-year-old is extremely confident he could get the best of “The Chosen One” in a championship bout.

Why? Because Covington said he has a training history with Woodley that goes in his favor.

“We’ve trained together, and deep down inside, he can say whatever he wants, but he knows I broke him in the gym,” Covington said. “We were supposed to spar five rounds one day. Inside three rounds, he said, ‘I’m done for the day. I’m too tired. I’m too gassed out.’

“I know how to fight that guy. He got beat by Jake Shields in a striking fight. Come on, man. He got beat by Rory MacDonald. Look how Rory fought him. Nate Marquardt, look how the guys fought him. They pressure fight him; he breaks under pressure. I’m a 10-times better version of those guys, so I know it’s an easy matchup, and I’m looking to take my belt. I’m the king of this division, this is my division now.”

Although Covington’s trash talk, confidence and alleged history with Woodley make him an intriguing option to fight for the belt, the next title shot has already been assigned to the winner of December’s UFC on FOX 26 main event between ex-champs Robbie Lawler and Rafael dos Anjos. Covington dismissed both fighters as deserving and made it clear he won’t settle for anything less than a crack at the gold.

“I do believe that I earned a title fight,” Covington said. “Look at how bad I bloodied Demian Maia. I completely outclassed him. Tyron Woodley couldn’t do that to him in five rounds. Look at what I did in three rounds. Give me five rounds with Tyron Woodley and I’ll beat that ass-kissing champ. As far as ‘RDA’ and ‘Ruthless’ Lawler, I mean Lawler, he got knocked out in a minute (by Woodley). You’re going to do that fight again if he beats ‘RDA’? That doesn’t make sense. He’s passed his time.

“(Lawler) takes a year, a year-and-a-half off after he gets knocked out and then he beats (Donald) Cerrone, barely, in a split decision? You saw how Cerrone looked against (Darren) Till. Lawler doesn’t look that good and he’s at the end of his career and he’s already been knocked out in under a minute. It doesn’t make sense to do that fight again. And ‘RDA’? He’s beaten two guys on losing streaks. Neil Magny’s on a losing streak, Tarec Saffiedine was on like a four-fight losing streak. I don’t think there’s anybody more deserving in the world, and if you want someone to dethrone that champ, I’m the guy to beat Tyron Woodley.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 119, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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