Rafael dos Anjos knows well enough what it means to fight a trash talker.
Though dos Anjos and Conor McGregor never actually fought at UFC 196, the twosome still did plenty of media together before “RDA” was forced out of the scheduled 2016 matchup with a broken foot, and he endured his fair share of verbal barbs from the loquacious Irishman.
So it’s safe to say that dos Anjos knew exactly what he was signing up for when he agreed to fight Colby Covington on June 9 at UFC 225 for the UFC interim welterweight title. And to put it simply, he’s not impressed with what he’s heard from his American counterpart thus far.
“I grew up in Brazil in the favelas, man. Bullies, trash talking, doesn’t work with me,” dos Anjos said Thursday on a heated UFC 225 media conference call. “But I think Colby, he’s just trying [to be Conor McGregor]. Conor does it well. Conor, he’s a rich man, he makes a lot of money. He’s a businessman, and I can respect that. But Colby, he’s just a worse version of Conor McGregor. He’s trying to be like Conor, but when he loses to me, his career is done. All he has is talk, nothing else.”
“Dude, you don’t believe one word that’s coming out of your mouth, Ralphie,” Covington shot back. “Let’s be honest, you ain’t teaching me sh*t. I’ve been to Brazil more than you’ve been there. You live in America, land of the free and home of the brave.”
“That’s a Conor McGregor joke,” dos Anjos responded. “That’s Conor McGregor’s joke, man. You’ve got to create something new. … You’re so fake, bro. You’re so fake. I’m about to be a legend, man, getting two belts. You’re so fake. You say you’re going to say something to Joe Rogan’s face? You say nothing when you see people face-to-face, man. You’re a fraud. You just look at your phone, man. You just bow your head. You just bow your head down and not even look around, man. You don’t even look around.”
“Yeah, because I’m professional fighter,” Covington replied.
“Nah, you’re nothing,” dos Anjos said. “You’re fake. If you’re trying to be a bad guy, you’ve got to be a bad guy all the time. You’re trying to be a bad guy, man. You’ve got to be a bad guy all the time. Don’t be fake.”
“I ain’t fake,” Covington responded. “I’m as real as they come.”
“You’re not. You’re a little p*ssy,” dos Anjos replied. “That’s what you are. You know you are.”
A former UFC lightweight champion, dos Anjos is hoping to secure a belt in a second weight class at UFC 225 after racking up a perfect 3-0 record at 170 pounds with wins over Robbie Lawler, Neil Magny, and Tarec Saffiedine. To do so, he’ll have to get past Covington, the controversial ATT product who last October capped off a five-fight win streak with a decision victory over Demian Maia.
Covington has talked plenty of trash in the lead-up to the bout, both about dos Anjos and about dos Anjos’ home country of Brazil. That certainly didn’t stop on Thursday’s call. Nonetheless, “RDA” insisted that he isn’t letting any of the chatter affect his approach.
“I’m a cold-blooded fighter. I have no emotions,” dos Anjos said.
“Once I step in that cage, I’m just going to think about making that guy quit. Hurt him. Nothing else. Cold-blooded, always.”
For question after question, dos Anjos and Covington traded shots at one another ahead of their UFC 225 interim title fight. Multiple times during those back-and-forths, dos Anjos brought up the difference he noticed between Covington’s online demeanor and he how acts in-person. Dos Anjos cited the UFC’s 25th Anniversary press conference in April as an example of what he meant, where video footage caught Covington basically ignoring Kamaru Usman’s attempts to confront him.
“Everybody saw him at media day in New York. When he sees people, he just sticks on his phone and he doesn’t even look around,” dos Anjos said. “This guy’s so fake. When he’s on the phone, he grows his balls. But on fight night, his balls shrink. I’m going to expose him.”
“You honestly don’t believe anything you say, Ralphie,” Covington shot back. “Let’s be honest, you’ve been ducking this fight since Singapore (in June 2017). We were supposed to fight in Singapore and that’s why you got moved below me on the card because you didn’t want to fight me. You said, ‘Oh, Colby, I had to Google you to find out who you are.’ Google me now, b*tch.”
“Hey, little boy,” dos Anjos interrupted. “I’ll fight you next week.”