Colby Covington has really been trying to get under the skin of former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos, but RDA is having none of it.
The pair will square off for the 170-pound interim championship in the co-main event of UFC 225 on pay-per-view (PPV) from the United Center in Chicago, Illinois on June 9th. To make things even bigger, the placeholder strap will be on the line – all but guaranteeing the winner a shot at Tyron Woodley.
Covington is notoriously hated throughout the Brazilian mixed martial arts (MMA) community, referring to the country’s people as “filthy animals” at one point. As a result, dos Anjos has been receiving requests on social media from his fellow countrymen and women to punish Covington for his words when they step into the Octagon.
RDA recently addressed these requests at a media luncheon to promote UFC 225 in Los Angeles (quotes via MMA Junkie):
“A lot of Brazilians, everything that I post (on social media), when I meet Brazilians, they all say the same thing: ‘You’ve got to kill this guy. You’ve got to kill this guy,’” dos Anjos said.
“But, you know, I’ve been in this position before. I’ve had a lot of ups and downs in the cage in my career. It’s my 38th fight, and that’s a lot of fights. I know what I have to do to win, and I don’t take this as pressure. I have to win for me. I need that. Nobody wants it more than me. That’s why I will win.”
Dos Anjos referred to himself as a “cold-blooded fighter,” who refuses to allow the trash-talk of Covington to manipulate his performance in the cage. The motivation to provide for his family is enough to get the job done come fight night:
“I’m a cold-blooded fighter,” dos Anjos said. “Once I step inside the octagon, there is no trash-talking. Just two guys fighting, clean with rules.
“Of course, it gives me a little extra motivation, but it’s not something I’m going to care about inside the cage. I have a lot of motivation with my kids, with my family. I have to provide for them. I’m a very competitive guy, too. I want to win. It’ll be a good fight.”