A video of Colby Covington forcing an impromptu meeting with UFC president Dana White at the Palms Resort and Casino in Las Vegas made the rounds on Friday, and it appeared that the encounter was a brief one.
For the past few months, “Chaos” has been actively seeking answers for why his interim title win at UFC 225 last June hasn’t resulted in a shot at welterweight champion Tyron Woodley. The 170-pound title is being defended this Saturday at UFC 235, but it’s Kamaru Usman who got the call to challenge Woodley, not Covington.
During an appearance on The Luke Thomas Show, Covington said that on Thursday evening he did manage to get a few words in with White when his camera was off, though it doesn’t sound like “Chaos” was satisfied with what he heard.
“We talked for like a good five minutes,” Covington said. “I wanted to let him know what’s going on and this isn’t fair and I’m not going to be treated like this. I wanted to let him know that I can find him at any moment. He’s not safe, that’s the whole ‘nerd bash’ movement. No nerd, no virgin is safe. I will find you, I don’t care where you live. I will track you down, I will hunt you down, and I will get an explanation for this. And I can make your life a living hell.
“He just found out. That was just a little glimpse. That wasn’t even me trying last night. That was me easily f*cking finding out where he’s at. Just imagine what it’s gonna be like if he doesn’t give me a title shot after this weekend. I will find him, I will hunt him down and make his life a living hell.”
Covington is currently on a six-fight win streak, with his last two wins coming against former lightweight champion and top welterweight contender Rafael dos Anjos, and two-time UFC title challenger Demian Maia. The win over dos Anjos put an interim belt around Covington’s waist and given his ongoing feud with Woodley, the assumption was that the two would finally get to settle their grudge inside the Octagon.
There was talk that Covington and Woodley could meet at UFC 228 last September, but Covington underwent surgery for a deviated septum and chronic sinusitus on July 24 and that ruled him out of that contest. The division moved on in his absence, with Woodley defeating Darren Till at UFC 228 and then booking a fight with Usman for UFC 235.
Covington blames White, Woodley, and the UFC’s doctors for interfering with his championship opportunity.
“Not really, he kind of left me out in the dark,” Covington said in regards to whether White told him anything conclusive. “He said some good things that I like to hear from him and I got some things off my chest. He was trying to tell me, ‘You’ve got to accept the fights when they accept the fights.’ I said, ‘Dana, man, I f*cking had nose surgery. Your UFC doctors, your UFC doctors — not my private doctor, your UFC doctors said I wasn’t clear to fight and I couldn’t fight. I’ve never turned down a fight one time in my life.
“I’ve been begging for the last two years to fight Tyron Woodley. He’s ducked me at every stop. He ducked me in January, he ducked me in November, he ducked me last year in December at the year-end show, so I wanted an explanation from him. All he could say is, ‘You’ve got to accept the fights.’ Dude, I’ve accepted every single fight you’ve given me. Just tell the people the real reason this is going on. This is corruption and it needs to stop.”
The clip of Covington’s Las Vegas run-in with White was short and the exact tone of the encounter was difficult to read, though White seemed to be annoyed by Covington’s temerity and his attempt to film their conversation. Covington confirmed that the UFC boss was indeed upset.
“He was pissed. He was real pissed,” Covington said. “But I don’t give a shit. I’m not here to make him happy and I wanted to let him know that this ain’t fair. There’s justice. You robbed me out of a title fight this week. I’m supposed to be fighting for the title. All the fans want to see me fight for the title, they don’t want to see f*cking ‘Snoozeman’. That’s like they’re giving ‘em shit and they’re trying to say, ‘Oh, it’s filet mignon.’
“I’m the filet mignon, I’m the people’s champ, I’m what everybody came to see. So he was pissed, but you know what? I don’t care about his feelings. I don’t care about anybody’s feelings. Him and everybody else, they’re a bunch of snowflakes.”
Update: At Friday’s UFC 236 press conference in Las Vegas, White responded to Covington’s fight-week antics. Ultimately, White says this comes down Convington’s unwillingness to fight UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley at UFC 228 in September, a title shot which instead went to Darren Till.
”Colby Covington is, he’s another perfect example,” White said. “He was offered the fight, he didn’t take the fight. And he can come up with a million excuses why he didn’t. He didn’t take the fight. He’s the interim champ, you were next in line for Tyron Woodley, we offered you the fight in Dallas, somewhere in Texas, he didn’t take the fight and that’s that.”
For his part, White laughed off his casino run-in with Covington and said he doesn’t hate his former interim welterweight champion.
”Everybody thinks I hate this kid I don’t hate this kid,” White said. “Even after last night, I don’t hate the kid. And last night wasn’t as bad as it looked on video. It looked like it was whatever, but we were cool and we talked last night, and, you know, face to face he gets it. He knows he he didn’t take the fight, so he didn’t get the fight.”
Dave Doyle contributed to this report.