Retired UFC Star Clarifies His Beef With Colby Covington

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Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada of USA TODAY Sports

It seems like every month rising contender Colby Covington is feuding with a new name.

This UFC prospect is attempting to get his name out there to become popular in this entertainment era of the UFC.

He first got into the public eye with a xenophobic tirade following his victory over Demian Maia in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Since then he has feuded with various fighters.

Now, he is going after former UFC title contender Kenny Florian. If you recall, Florian, along with current welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, took a few cracks at Covington’s title hopes in a segment on a recent episode of UFC Tonight.

This made Covington upset and took to Twitter to let Florian know his opinion. Thus, they exchanged words.

Florian addressed Covington’s behavior in an interview with Submission Radio.

“I think in some ways and sometimes people kind of need to look at themselves a little bit,” Florian said, when asked about why he responded to Covington (transcript courtesy of Bloody Elbow). “And if I had the opportunity to be a mirror to Colby Covington, then I’m gonna do my best to do that. And, you know, listen, everyone has a different approach and everyone will live their life in whatever way they choose and that’s fine. But, I think that when you talk about bully-type mentalities and disrespect, I just don’t like that. I don’t like it.

“It’s something that I think is kind of poisoning the sport a little bit, and Colby is kind of one those guys who hasn’t shown the most respect to people. And at the end of the day, I think we are martial artists and it’s… you know, people already have a certain perception of cage fighters and I think that he’s not helping that perception, let’s put it that way.”

Despite all of that, it doesn’t mean that Florian doesn’t understand why Covington is taking the approach he is.

“I definitely respect the marketing aspect of it, right?” Florian elborated. “I think you can be confident and you can call out guys, you could say certain things, I think there’s just a certain level of respect. I think that when you start getting into like the bully-type mentality and you start really insulting, when you’re using things like gay slurs, when you’re using racist remarks, when you’re insulting countries and groups of people, that’s too much. We have enough of that going on in the world. And I think like we should kind of show a much more respectful side. That’s myself and that’s what I think.

“But, you know, as far as marketing yourself, I get that, but there is a line. Imagine if we picked our Olympic teams based on how good our trash talk was. Like, you know? ‘Oh that’s the number one guy, but he’s quiet, so we’re gonna give it to the number three guy because he has more twitter followers. Or this guy talks more trash, he’s really selling the fact that he’s going to win this hundred-meter race, so we’re gonna put him in there. Sorry, I know you got first place and you’re the fastest man in the world, but this guy really talks a good game, so we’re gonna just jump the line, okay? Is that cool with you?’ It just, it doesn’t make it a sport anymore, does it? And that’s kind of what bothers me, and not just me, I think it bothers a lot of the professional fighters. So the game has definitely changed since when I was fighting – now I sound like an old guy, which I am – but a balance needs to be found.”

“It’s possible. I mean, probably not likely,” Florian responded to the idea that Covington could become a fan favorite. “But I think Chael had a certain charisma about him and I think he had a certain wittiness about him, whereas Colby’s just… there’s not a whole lot of, I don’t know if there’s a whole lot of slickness to what he’s saying. It kind of just sounds like an angry 15-year-old, you know what I mean? Chael at least had knowledge of how to play the heel in a relatively intelligent way.”

  • ShawnKarr

    Can’t disagree with Florian here. This dudes gots to go!

    • Jason

      You gonna be the one to take him out? I don’t think so!!

  • Carlton Smith

    Why people even care about Covington? He’s a nobody, and will get beat up by any top 10 welterwight that is not only a bjj fighter!!

    • Draven

      that nobody is now the no.3 ranked welterweight, owned dong hyun kim in all 3 rounds then beat demian maia in dominating fashion like no welterweight has done to him.

      • Austin yep

        Nah, his decision win over Dong Hyun Kim was not quite dominant. There was absolutely no question that he won that fight, but if he is who he says he is, he shoulda got him outta there, OR beat the fuck out of him. It was a scrap that he definitely won, much like Jon vs Rashad. ALSO, in the early rounds Maia outstruck him, and for much of the fight (until Maia gassed) Maia’s straight punches were landing clean, and Colby was getting touched up. IN FACT, I would have been happy with a split decision on that one with Maia. LASTLY, Woodley did do that to Maia, he wrote the blueprint for it, AND he did it with a torn shoulder.

        • Draven

          Kim is a well rounded fighter and not exactly easy opponent for many. He had no answer to Colby’s takedowns whatsoever.

          Maia did well in the first round but so did Colby. Covington slashed him with leg kicks, combos and continued to keep the pace and pressure forward as the rounds went on. He was clearly the more busier of the two.