Colby Covington is quite confident that he’ll beat Kamaru Usman to become welterweight champion at UFC 268, but he doesn’t seem to think much about the contenders currently ranked behind him on the roster.
Assuming he can handle his business on Saturday night to win the title, Covington has a number of potential matchups awaiting him including rising star Khamzat Chimaev, who dispatched his fourth straight opponent in the UFC after he dismantled Li Jingliang at UFC 267 this past weekend.
Chimaev has been on the fast track towards title contention ever since first arriving in the UFC but Covington isn’t buying the hype surrounding the Chechen born fighter while also taking shots at him for nearly calling it a career after he suffered from a severe case of COVID-19.
“’You know Chimaev, he’s got to do a lot more work than get three fights in the UFC,” Covington said when addressing Chimaev during the UFC 268 media day. “You guys hype these guys up real quick but let’s not forget he was put down by the common cold.
“He was ready to retire off the common cold. That’s a 99.9 percent survival rate to beat the common cold and Chimaev was ready to give it up and retire. He doesn’t want to fight me. He’s got a way less chance than 99.9 percent chance against me.”
Despite nearly 750,000 deaths in the United States alone from COVID-19, Covington doubled down on his assessment of the disease after saying that anybody losing their life “is a terrible tragedy.”
“We all know that healthy people, this common cold doesn’t affect healthy people,” Covington said. “As long as you’re healthy out there, you’re going to be alright.”
Outside of Chimaev, Covington didn’t seem to think too much about anybody else at welterweight, especially after seeing Usman tear through the division since their first fight ended in 2019.
“’Marty Fakenewsman,’ he’s been fighting lightweights,” Covington said when referencing Usman. “He hasn’t fought a welterweight like me. He’s been fighting a guy that was a journeyman that had all the hype that the media put lightning on a bottle on this guy. Talking about ‘Street Judas’ [Jorge] Masvidal. The guy’s got double digit losses. Almost 20 losses on his record. Talk about hype. That makes you the best pound-for-pound fighter by knocking that guy out? I was knocking that guy out for the last 15 years. I’d beat him up, knock him out in my living room for free every single night when we lived together.
“There’s [nothing] impressive or honor in doing that and the other guy he beat? ‘Dilbert’ [Gilbert Burns], he’s a lightweight. The guy was getting knocked out by a hooker (Dan Hooker). What’s so honorable about that? What makes him pound-for-pound? I’m going to expose him Saturday night and ‘Marty Juiceman’s not going to have anywhere to run or hide.”
Of course, Covington has engaged in a long simmering feud with Masvidal ever since they were at odds while still acting as teammates at American Top Team in Florida.
Covington eventually left the gym and started working full time at MMA Masters, which is just minutes away from the main American Top Team facility, but he’s never forgotten his problem with Masvidal.
That said, Covington doesn’t sound too enthusiastic about settling his grudge with Masvidal, who he considers one of the worst fighters on the entire UFC roster.
“There’s nobody on the UFC roster that ‘Street Judas,’ that fragile guy Masvidal, he can beat right now,” Covington said. “That guy is washed up. I saw the discipline in the way he trained for years. The guy is nothing. He has no skill set.
“He completely got melted his last fight [against Kamaru Usman]. Has he woken up yet from his last fight? He’s probably still sleeping. I don’t know if he’s ready to go fight yet. He’s definitely concussed and fragile. There’s not a guy on the roster that ‘Street Judas’ Masvidal can beat.”
If the challenges at welterweight aren’t very formidable, Covington added that he’d definitely like the opportunity to chase a second title in the UFC — and he’s down to compete at lightweight or middleweight if he’s given the chance.
“Absolutely, I see both weight classes as very open for me,” Covington said. “The guy at middleweight [Israel Adesanya] can’t wrestle. He got taken down by a guy that’s never wrestled in his life [in Jan Blachowicz]. In the lower weight class, that guy [Charles Oliveira is] a scrub, too.
“I’d love to get my hands on Louisiana swamp trash Dustin [Poirier]. He talked all that sh*t to the media, saying it’s on site with me. Guess what, Dustin? You name the site. Let’s do it. Bring that little jezebel of a wife and that little prop you call as a kid.”
Never at a loss for words about anybody, Covington may have a lot to say about Chimaev, Masvidal and Poirier but his main focus remains Usman and the title fight on Saturday. With a win, he would even the all-time series at 1-1, although Covington seems to believe beating Usman at UFC 268 might put an end to their rivalry once and for all.
“I go to bed every single night with revenge on my mind and I realize that revenge is a dish best served cold,” Covington said. “I’m going to serve that revenge dish to ‘Marty’ on Saturday night.
“I got some really bad intentions for him. He’s not going to want to come back for round three after I’m done with him Saturday night.”