Spencer Kellogg | @TheNewTreasury
Right when it was looking like the UFC had become a dead fish, flash in the pan, XFL-lite retirement party without the hooker punch, Colby Covington shows up beating his chest and dropping enough f-bombs to shake the cobwebs off the weathering corpse of MMA’s premier championship competition. Covington is the type of asteroid wrapped in kryptonite sent from the nether regions beyond the sun to break the mold of boring, trite, manufactured content that keep the big whigs executives of sport TV sleeping comfortably at night.
After “Chaos” defeated Rafael dos Anjos to claim the welterweight belt last weekend, Covington laid into critics and Trump haters alike. Saddling up next to Joe Rogan after his five-round win, Colby was blunt in his support for President Trump. With fans jeering in the background, Covington let Tyron Woodley that he wants his neck next and peacocked before the fighting community as he announced his plan to take his new championship belt and set it on the President’s desk ‘like a real American.’
In the press conference following his title bout, Covington went further when he called the city of Philadelphia “Filthadelphia.” Covington made headlines leading into the fight when he launched into a tirade against Joe Rogan saying that he would ‘slap’ the podcast host in the face. In a sport that is stocked with high octane, loud mouth sparrers, Covington is making his mark as the new crowning king of trash talk. Following his defeat of Demian Maia in Sao Paulo, Covington was led out of the ring surrounded by a group of security guards after he described Brazil as a “dump” filled with “a bunch of filthy animals.”
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a fighter use the gift of gab to boost his stardom and wealth. As a rule, fighting of every type shares a legacy of big mouth behemoths conquering each other with words and then fists. Conor McGregor infamously gained notoriety by spewing garbage hot takes at any fighter willing to stand in his path. After defeating all comers that stood in his way, McGregor leveraged his brand into a 100 million dollar super bout with reigning light middleweight champion of the world Floyd Mayweather. Although the fight with Floyd Mayweather was certainly a dud, the lead-up saw McGregor donning suits and clowning Mayweather over and over at each press stop. It was a great show and for the most part, the global public lapped it up.
With the UFC signing a massive multi-year deal with ESPN in May, it is imperative that the sport continues to provide a host of showmen who can carry the sport through even its dryest seasons. With his name being bantered around as the next rising superstar of mixed martial arts, maybe Covington isn’t a brickheaded as he looks, proving the age-old saying true: “If it bleeds, it leads.” Love him or hate him, Colby Covington’s villainy will put people in the stands and light up the pay-per-view the next time he fights and that’s exactly what head boss Dana White wants.
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