Heading into his interim welterweight title bout with Rafael dos Anjos at June’s UFC 225, rising 170-pound contender Colby Covington has been making a name for himself.
It hasn’t just been for his fighting skills despite a five-fight win streak, however, as “Chaos” has been inciting what his nickname suggests by calling out each and everyone who crosses his path.
Perhaps the main focal point of his talk has been directed at many Brazilian fighters, most notably former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum and more importantly, the people of Brazil themselves after he unleashed a controversial tirade when he beat Demian Maia by decision last October. He had to be escorted out by security then, and that may be the main reason his match-up with dos Anjos was moved to UFC 225 after originally being scheduled for UFC 224 in Rio de Janeiro.
All of the hype isn’t getting to former lightweight champion dos Anjos, however, as he recently spoke up on The MMA Hour to offer his view that he’s used to bullies like Covington and will let him do his talking.
Once the fight promotion is over, that’s when he’ll do his job in the cage:
“Man, I’m born and raised in Brazil in Rio, and I knew a lot of bullies in school,” dos Anjos said. “I never have a problem with that. I know he’s going to say a lot, but it’s part of his thing, part of the promotion. I’m going to let him talk and promote the fight. Then, fight night, I’m going to go there and do my job.
“I do this for myself, for my family, for my fans around the world. I’m not an emotional fighter. I just go there, I’m cold-blooded, and I do my thing.”
Always the calculating professional, the normally quiet dos Anjos doesn’t normally talk trash.
He prefers to let his fists do the talking, and although he’s promised to follow that path against Covington, he assured listeners that the loudmouth’s day was coming:
“He’s been crossing the line all the time. And he’s going to learn down the road.”
Dos Anjos has looked like a true threat to the 170-pound title with three straight wins over Robbie Lawler, Neil Magny, and Tarec Saffiedine following two straight losses to Tony Ferguson and Eddie Alvarez that prompted him to ditch the draining weight cut down to lightweight.
Covington, on the other hand, has used his over-the-top trash talk and social media feuds to fuel his rise on top of by far his biggest victory over Maia. There’s no doubt “Chaos” has shown a dominant wrestling game and an ability to hype fights on the mic, the top qualities of a certain former UFC title contender named Chael Sonnen.
‘The American Gangster’ was known to make things personal with Brazil as well, and Covington has done an efficient job of following in his footsteps. For now, he’s avoided a potentially dangerous scene in Rio, however.
Will he avoid another against dos Anjos in the bout’s new location in the ‘Second City?’