While UFC welterweight Colby Covington may well be next in line for a shot at Leon Edwards’ championship, he’s not always the most entertaining fighter inside the octagon.
To make up for this, Covington does his best to sell fights out of the ring, which includes an entire persona that’s seemingly built on an early-2000s pro wrestling bad guy.
Sometimes (often, even) Covington goes a bit too far with the gimmick. Just ask fellow UFC welterweight Kevin Holland.
Kevin Holland isn't a fan of Colby Covington: “Nobody really likes Colby” 😬 #UFC287
“Colby’s probably a good guy, but the character that he plays is pretty dumb.” pic.twitter.com/No7PeebDPF
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) April 6, 2023
A great example of this is Covington coming after longtime UFC commetator Jon Anik after Anik invited Belal Muhammad on his podcast. Muhammad said he believes Covington “jumped the line” en route to his rumored title shot.
Belal Muhammed SOUNDS OFF on Colby Covington! Does he deserve the next title shot?!
Check out this exclusive interview here: https://t.co/856nWwska8 pic.twitter.com/ESdKGs1oiT
— Anik & Florian Podcast (@AnikFlorianPod) March 20, 2023
“And you know who’s hanging out and associating with that racist? Jon Anik. Jon Anik, you know, supports that racism,” Covington said. “He’s [Anik] supposed to be impartial, he’s supposed to have that headset, he’s supposed to be an interviewer, he’s supposed to remain impartial… You want to be a cheerleader? Put down the headset, pick up the pom-poms, go on the side, and be a cheerleader…
“And Jon Anik, dude, I don’t want your kids to grow up without a dad, just realize you live in Boca [Raton], I live in Miami motherf***er, you’re not too far from me, so you better shut your f***ing mouth. You poke the bear, now you get the bear comes after you.”
It was, as per usual, a ridiculous comment from Covington. But clearly it works for him.
Anik responded to Covington on a recent episode of the “Morning Kombat” show.
“I think you can argue he crossed the line, but I never felt particularly threatened,” Anik said of Covington. “More so I felt the support from Jorge Masvidal and Jamahal Hill and a lot of other athletes, and I certainly appreciate that. I don’t know that you need to inject anybody’s kids into the equation, and there will come a point in time on Snapchat or somewhere else where my 11-year-old daughter is going to come across that clip and there will be some explaining to do. But by and large, Colby and I are good.
“We have addressed it privately. We didn’t talk, we messaged each other. And it’s interesting because I’ve tried not to lean into it, right? I just leaned into it a little bit there, but for me, ultimately there were two parts of that navigation when he said what he said. First of all, what did I say that has upset the high-profile professional athlete? I’ve got to figure that out.
“Did I say something? Did I analytically go a little bit too far with my editorialization of the welterweight championship pecking order?” Anik continued. “Right? So once I realized that, eh, seems like his beef is really just that I gave Belal Muhammad a platform, and I didn’t really say anything that sensational, then you can address what he had said. And if I’m being honest, it was Colby in character for me. When I first saw the clip I thought nothing of it, and then my phone got pretty noisy and I thought more of it as the day went on.”
Anik said that he’s not concerned about Covington. But that Covington’s fans could well do something stupid because of the fighter’s comments.
“Certainly, I’ve been more off-put by maybe some of Colby’s cronies, who are like, ‘You don’t have to worry about him, but now maybe it’s me.’ But there have been high-profile athletes that have taken issue with what I have said, and I try to bury the hatchet and either stand by what I said or apologize. But there’s not a show that goes by that someone is not upset with something, fighter or coach. It’s the world in which we live.”
But hey, when has Colby Covington ever cared about anybody other than himself?