Colby Covington has several feuds going on at any given time, and he’s looking to take one out of the equation.
Nobody has been safe from Covington’s invective over the past few years, including his fellow American Top Team fighters Tyron Woodley, Jorge Masvidal, and Dustin Poirier. At various times Covington has butted heads with them in the media and in a recent interview with ESPN he had some choice words for Poirier. The two have spoken ill of each other in the past, with Poirier accusing Covington of selling out for publicity, and Covington calling Poirier an “egomaniac.”
“We can’t do anything at American Top Team, that’s a place of business, that’s a sanctuary, and we respect the rules of American Top Team,” Covington said. “So we’ve decided to put the beefs aside when we walk into American Top Team, we keep everything business.
“I can’t say what’s going to happen in the streets. He’ll probably run from me and run home to Louisiana. We know he’s running from me in the octagon, he ain’t ever gonna try and fight me in the octagon. That’s what makes the whole thing stupid. He’s a little lightweight washout and he’s trying to call out the greatest welterweight of all-time, me, myself. The whole thing from the start is just fake news and it makes no sense. The guy needs to stay in his lane, understand his role, act like a B-job level fighter and just know your role, bitch. I’m the top of the mountain right now at the welterweight division and I’m what’s saving the UFC.”
However, Covington changed his tune during an interview with Submission Radio, explaining that he made a promise to ATT head Dan Lambert that he wouldn’t escalate the Poirier feud.
”I want to take this moment, guys, to apologize real quick,” Covington said. “I want to apologize to my teammate, Dustin Poirier. I broke a promise to my agent, Dan Lambert. And I really do feel bad, and I feel ashamed. Yesterday I was asked a question by Ariel Helwani about Dustin, my teammate, and I kind of lost my cool. I was too busy spitting fire on the world and I was so hyped up about the Woodley fight that I kind of went off on Dustin. I just want to say that I’m sorry, Dustin. You’re still my friend, we can be friends. I’m sorry about hurting your feelings and saying some words in the past that might have hurt your feelings, and you know, business goes back to usual at American Top Team.
“I want to have a civil gym and I don’t want there to be drama or beef in the gym, I want to keep things civil. And if any of these guys want to come fight me, anybody out there, you know where to find me. We can fight for a lot of money in the octagon. But why aren’t these guys talking about fighting me in the octagon? They keep talking about fighting me in the street.”
The change in tone is a rare one for Covington, who has continued to trade insults with Woodley, Masvidal, and current UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman among others. A lengthy win streak and a brash persona have resulted in Covington becoming a headline maker and an interim titleholder in the last few years.
Still, by Covington’s own admission his interaction with the typically cordial Poirier went farther than he wanted it to go.
“Yeah, I never apologize and I can’t believe I’m doing it here today with you guys, but, you know, that’s how much trust I have in you guys and faith in you guys,” Covington said. “And what made me want to apologize is, I’m really apologizing to Dan Lambert. I broke a promise. We made a promise that—he’s in a different weight class. He’s a lightweight, I’m a welterweight. Our business and our paths are not gonna cross, so there’s no reason to talk about each other. Let’s keep everything normal at the gym, and guys can interact and train, and they can hate each other, but we have enough space in the gym where there shouldn’t be any problems, let’s just handle our business.
“And I broke that promise with Dan, and I told him I wasn’t going to talk about Dustin, he’s not gonna talk about me, and I’m ashamed, man. I’m usually not like this, but you know, I’m a man to admit when I’m wrong, and I’m wrong, I made a mistake. I’m just like every other American out there, we make mistakes. and the most important thing is we learn from our mistakes, and I’ve learned from my mistake and I’m gonna be better. I’m sorry, Dan Lambert. I’m sorry, Dustin. Love you guys, American Top Team forever.”
Covington is currently awaiting his next fight booking after losing a dramatic championship bout to Usman at UFC 245 in December, while Poirier is scheduled to fight Dan Hooker in May. As far as Covington is concerned, it would be best if he and Poirier can talk it out before moving on with their careers.
“I’d like to sit down with him, have a little chat, speak to him eye to eye, you know, get a gauge and feel for how he’s feeling and thinking and let him get some things off his chest, and then me rebuttal and tell him the truth and let me get some things off my chest, what I believe,” Covington said.
“We’re both stubborn in our own ways and we’re hard-headed and we’re both fighters and we love to fight, so let’s just worry about fighting and preparing for our fights. He has a big fight coming up with somebody, and I’m worried about getting my rematch and getting my belt back, so let’s just go our separate ways and let bygones be bygones.”