It seem that UFC welterweight Colby Covington won’t face any punishment for his comments about Brazilian fans after all.
The welterweight contender defeated Demian Maia in the co-main event of UFC Sao Paulo on Oct. 28, and went on to call the city a “dump" and Brazilian fans “filthy animals” in his post-fight interview. The crowd booed the American Top Team fighter, and some fans threw things at him as he was leaving the Octagon.
UFC senior vice president David Shaw told the media at the post-fight press conference that the company was "taking the situation with Covington very seriously” and “it's something that we are not very happy about."
A week later, though, UFC president Dana White spoke with reporters after UFC 217 in New York and said he "didn’t even know we came out” with those comments Shaw has made in Sao Paulo, and Brazilians shouldn’t take Covington’s comments personal.
"I mean, listen, at the end of the day this is the fight business and people say a lot of mean things,” White said (via Combate). "I think the Brazilian people are tough enough to handle a guy saying some stuff to them at the end of the day. This has happened before. I don’t remember where we were but Al Iaquinta told all the fans to go f*ck themselves and a lot of other things that weren’t very nice.
"Obviously, we don’t like it and we frown upon it and we talk to these guys about stuff like that, but fights get very emotional, you know? It happens. I don’t think the Brazilian people should take it personal.”
Covington improved his MMA record to 13-1 with his win over Maia in Brazil, and has campaigned for a shot at welterweight champion Tyron Woodley after winning five straight.