The interim title bout between Covington and dos Anjos was originally scheduled for May 12 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but the promotion decided to move it from UFC 224 to UFC 225, on June 9 in Chicago, just hours after the official announcement.
The plan to have Covington and RDA fight in Brazil was changed after the Conor McGregor incident in Brooklyn, prior to UFC 223, taking in consideration Covington’s controversial comments about Brazil before and after his win over Demian Maia in Sao Paulo last November.
Alves, the only man to ever beat Covington in MMA, is slated to fight Sultan Aliev at UFC 224. The Brazilian welterweight choked out “Chaos” in less than two minutes back in 2015, and jokes that Covington “found out that I’d be there and decided not to come” to Rio de Janeiro.
”If he fought here, I would ask fans to respect him, but … it’s hard to say,” Alves told MMA Fighting. “He disrespected everybody, talked a bunch of crap, offended our country. No one can do that.
”I love his country, the United States. I have a huge respect for his country. I think Donald Trump is the greatest president the United States has ever had, and it’s actually hope for my own country. ... I’m a fan. And (Covington) comes to my country and treats us like garbage.
”The only thing I would ask Brazilians fans if he fought here would be to not throw anything at him, don’t be hostile to him, because Rafael dos Anjos will do that. I’m sure he will get beat up by Rafael dos Anjos.”
Covington has won five in a row since losing to Alves, capped off by a decision victory over Maia. Alves lost two in a row after UFC 194, but recently bounced back with a decision victory over late-replacement Salim Touahri in Poland.
”No matter what, I want to fight him again. We will fight again,” Alves said of Covington. “He can run, he can hide in the top five, but I will get there and fight him. No matter where he is, I’m coming after him and he knows that. He’s scared. I know he’s scared.”
Alves says he recently called Covington and said a few unpleasant things to him over the phone, but the American fighter quickly hung up.
”He’s a p*ssy. He’s scared,” Alves said. “He talks a lot on social media, but let’s see if can back that up in the Octagon. I’ve beaten him once and I will fight and beat him again if the UFC wants. It’s easy money for me.”
Covington might become the interim champion in June, and being the only man to ever beat him in MMA could help Alves’ case in the future. Yet, he won’t root against his countryman at UFC 225.
”It’s impossible for me to root for (Covington), especially against Rafael dos Anjos,” Alves said. “My first MMA training was alongside Rafael dos Anjos. When he won the UFC belt and brought it to Brazil, we met in Rio. We’re not always together, but I have a huge respect for him, and a belt will never trump a friendship.”
”I think it’s a good fight for Rafael dos Anjos,” he continued. “Colby has his merits, despite the fact that we all know he’s a p*ssy. He’s not that bad, he’s in the top five, but I think it’s a good fight for Rafael dos Anjos. If he’s well trained, he will beat Colby up.”