This past weekend (Sat. October 28, 2017) UFC welterweight Colby Covington picked up the biggest win of his mixed martial arts (MMA) career when he defeated former 185 and 170-pound title challenger Demian Maia.
Covington earned a unanimous decision win over Maia in his own backyard of Brazil. After his victory, however, Covington made some controversial comments towards the Brazilian crowd by calling them “animals.” In the build-up to the bout Covington had been antagonizing Brazilian fans for weeks before finally stepping into the cage with Maia.
As he made his walk to the cage Saturday fans expressed a great deal of hatred for Covington – and he loved it (quotes via MMA Fighting):
“It was crazy, man,” Covington said. “The experience, it was awesome. You know, I love that. I knew I was going into hostile territory. I knew they were gonna be real sad, there was gonna be a lot of people pissed after I beat Demian. I expected that. It was awesome, man. It was a fun time.”
Covington was visibly absent from the post-fight press conference after the event, as UFC executive David Shaw claimed the promotion was not happy with his comments to the crowd and they would be reviewed by brass. When Covington was asked about why he didn’t attend the presser he claimed it was for security purposes:
“I had my suit ready,” Covington said. “I was all dressed up, ready to go. But then [UFC official] Reed [Harris] put me in the van. He was like, ‘Hey, we’ve gotta get you out of here. We don’t know if it’s safe for you to be here.’ They either pulled me for two reasons. They either pulled me because they thought it was dangerous and they didn’t know if it would be good. Or they pulled me because they thought I was gonna say more controversial comments about Brazil.
“We went in through the negative levels,” Covington said. “They guarded me up the elevator. They wouldn’t let anybody else on the elevator. We ducked so no one sees us over the balcony. We walked back to our room. I’m in my room on lockdown.”
As anyone would be, Covington admitted that he was a little nervous about being recognized at the airport; where he wore sunglasses, a hoodie, and a hat:
“Yeah, for sure,” Covington said. “I was a little nervous. I can’t lie. I’m not gonna come lie to you today. I’m not a liar, I’m a truth teller.”
Even before he made his walk out to the cage Covington claims that Brazilian fans were already yelling obscenities at him. Covington feels that some professionalism should’ve kicked in for the Brazilian crowd – who should’ve shown him more respect:
“I just didn’t like how they treated me when I was in the tunnel before the walkout to the fight. I’m sitting in the tunnel and they’re yelling all these things. ‘Oh, I f*cked your mom,’ this and that. Stuff about me, ‘Oh, you’re gonna die.’ Throwing cups and stuff and hot dogs.
“You need to respect me,” he said. “I’m going into a fight, this is professionals. So, I just felt disrespected by them. I didn’t say anything that was too outlandish.”
Given the way things went this past weekend, Covington doesn’t think he’ll be making an appearance in Brazil again:
“No, not at all,” Covington said. “With the way they treat people over there, you can’t do that over in Canada, Ariel. You can’t do that in USA. You won’t hear whole crowds doing stuff like that and the things they do. So, I don’t think I crossed any line. America.
“I’m a company man,” he said. “I’ll go wherever the UFC wants me to go. But I probably wont be making an appearance back in Brazil.”