Earlier this month, Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal settled their long-awaited grudge match at UFC 272. It was a dominant performance from Covington who repeatedly took Masvidal down and battered him from top position. Following the win, Covington called for for a fight against former American Top Team teammate Dustin Poirier, bringing Poirier’s wife and child into his trash talk. It was a step that some felt was a bridge too far but one that has become commonplace for “Chaos” as he continues to adopt a Chael Sonnen-esque pro wrestling gimmick, and one that UFC Hall of Famer Michael Bisping believes is working for him.
Though Bisping is one of the most beloved fighters in UFC history, for much of his career he was one of the biggest heels in the sport. Bisping’s cocksure attitude and propensity for trash-talking had fans loving to hate him, and from one heel to another, Bisping thinks Covington is doing a great job at promoting his fights and driving interest.
“I think he does a great job,” Bisping told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “I think he really sells it. I think he gets people very, very much interested. He is a heel. I did an interview with him last week for BT Sport and it was a very compelling interview, very honest and open of him.
“The reality is, Colby’s an incredible fighter, he really is. He’s just unlucky in some ways that Kamaru Usman is the champion and he’s around at the moment. If it wasn’t for that, he’d probably be the champ. I think he brings a lot of excitement. That fight against Usman at Madison Square Garden, I loved every second of that press conference and that was because of Colby, because of what he brought to the table. It’s the same thing with Jorge, same thing every single time, and if I was a fan, I’d have bought that pay-per-view after watching that. So he’s doing what he’s setting out to do. He’s promoting the fight, he’s hyping the fight, he’s trying to put a little doubt in his opponent’s mind, not sure if he’s successful in that because I think a lot of people now know he’s just playing this character, but promoting his fight, 100 percent he does a fantastic job.”
His promotion certainly worked for this fight at least. UFC 272 took in a $6,760,000 total gate, which according to UFC President Dana White was the fourteenth-highest gate of all time for the UFC. But while his trash-talk may be driving fan interest, Covington unfortunately has not been able to get his preferred opponent to bite. Earlier this week, Poirier, a career featherweight and lightweight, rejected Covington’s callout, essentially telling him to pick on someone his own size, while he continues to pursue a fight against a bigger star than Covington, Nate Diaz.