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Morning Report: Colby Covington claims UFC was going to release him before his now-infamous ‘filthy animals’ promo

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

This Saturday, Colby Covington will get his long-awaited chance to fight for UFC gold when he takes on reigning welterweight champion Kamaru Usman in the main event of UFC 245. Covington has risen to prominence over the past few years on the back of dominant wins inside the cage and the adoption of a brash and controversial personality outside of it.

Covington first started to make headlines when he fought Demian Maia at UFC Fight Night 119 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. After taking a unanimous decision win, Covington told the Brazilian booing crowd that Brazil was “a dump” and called all of the fans “filthy animals”. It was a promo that made Covington a fair number of enemies, even among his own teammates at American Top Team, but, according to Covington, it was necessary to save his job.

“I’ve never told this story before but three fights ago, before I fought the No. 2 guy in the world, this guy named Demian Maia, in Brazil, they had told my manager Dan Lambert that they weren’t going to re-sign me,” Covington told Candace Owens recently. “They didn’t like my style, they didn’t like that I wasn’t entertaining, and this is before I really started to become an entertainer and really understand the entertainment aspect of this business. So before this fight they told me no matter what happens, I was ranked No. 6 in the world, ‘We’re not re-signing you. We don’t like your character. We don’t like your fighting style.’ And I’m getting paid $30,000 to go fight the No. 2 guy in the world. After you pay taxes and pay your coaches, you’re really going to get like, $5000 or $10,000.

“So I go out there and I beat him up and leave him in a pool of blood in Sao Paulo, Brazil, his home city, and I shoot this promo on the Brazilians and I say, ‘You guys are all a bunch of filthy animals and Brazil you’re a dump.’... So I go and shoot this promo, and I wasn’t supposed to have my job, but that promo goes so viral on the internet, that the UFC’s like, ‘We have to keep him. We have to re-sign him because that promo is so big.’ So that’s what saved my career and that was the turning point of my career and the rest has been history.”

It’s a big claim from Covington but one that’s not entirely impossible. After all, the UFC cut Elias Theodorou after a loss to Derek Brunson, despite Theodorou being ranked in the top-15 at the time. But regardless of the truth of why Covington cut that promo, the reality is it did mark a turning point in his career. Practically overnight, Covington went from a decent prospect with only one notable win and a wrestling heavy style to one of the biggest heels in the UFC, with a dominant win over one of the top contenders in the division. Immediately a fight with then-champion Tyron Woodley was thrown about but when Woodley was injured, instead the UFC set up an interim title fight for Covington against another Brazilian opponent. Covington dominated Rafael dos Anjos to claim his first UFC gold (he was later stripped after turning down a fight with Woodley due to an injury) and doubled down on his new-found persona, taking his interim title to the White House to meet the President of the United States. And considering how well this whole trash-talking thing has worked out for him so far, Covington says he has no intention of slowing down once he wins the undisputed welterweight title this Saturday.

“When I’m on camera, I’m amping everything up to 110 because this is the show business, entertainment...” Covington said. “I’m entertaining. I’m putting on a show for the fans because that’s what they want to see. That’s what they pay their hard-earned money for, so I’ve got to give it to them.”

UFC 245 takes place this Saturday, Dec. 14 at the T-Mobile Arena, in Las Vegas, Nev.


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Results. Tito Ortiz makes short work of Alberto El Patron at Combate Americas.

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VIDEO STEW

Jairzinho after his comeback win.

Countdown.

The challengers at UFC 245.

Fighters pick fight UFC 245.

Debating ring rust in MMA.


LISTEN UP

6th Round. Immediate post-fight reaction to UFC Washington D.C.

Severe MMA. Discussing UFC 245, Rozenstruik’s comeback win, and Tito Ortiz.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

This will be fun.

Overeem handling it pretty well all things considered.

Incredible.

Chael going in on Tito. Rematch is definitely gonna happen.

Ben Askren already beefing.

That seems healthy.

Also, Jon Jones got his purple belt.

A hint at something perhaps?

View this post on Instagram

What did he say? @kingmofh

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Jimmie Rivera (22-4) vs. Marlon Vera (17-5-1); UFC 247, Feb. 8.

Karolina Kowalkiewicz (12-5) vs. Yan Xiaonan (11-1, 1 NC); UFC Auckland, Fed. 22.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.


EXIT POLL

Poll

Who wins this weekend?

This poll is closed

  • 48%
    Usman
    (846 votes)
  • 51%
    Covington
    (908 votes)
1754 votes total Vote Now

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