COCONUT CREEK, Fla. -- Colby Covington is slowly becoming a household name. Obviously not to average fight fans, but the hardcores are becoming accustomed to seeing his name, especially when he opens his mouth. While many of the times it's met with a groan or sigh, there's no denying Covington's current winning streak and what it's providing him in opportunity.
Covington will be featured as the co-main event of UFC 225 when he squares off with Rafael dos Anjos in Chicago for the interim welterweight title. While his personality and persona may rub people the wrong way, Covington couldn't care less. He just wants his chance to shine.
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"I don't care about fans; I'm looking to make people pissed off so people buy my pay-per-views to see me lose, like [Conor] McGregor,". "There's a pro wrestling model out there. If anything, I'm more like Ric Flair. You know, I'm on the same diet: women, limousines and private jets on the regular."
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Covington got the nod to fight for the interim title after ripping off five straight victories with his biggest coming last October in a decision win over Demian Maia in Brazil. He famously called the country a "dump," referring to the Brazilian crowd "filthy animals" after the fight. He also got into an incident with UFC heavyweight Fabricio Werdum in Australia where Werdum threw a boomerang at him, prompting one of the funniest troll jobs ever from dos Anjos a couple months later.
Covington has borrowed a bit from the McGregor model of using his social media to bolster his public presence, and he now sits just one fight away from facing current 170-pound champion Tyron Woodley, who he thinks has pushed people away from the division.
"I think it's great with me at the king of the helm now and making the division great again," Covington said. "This division was boring; it went stale. I'm happy I'm here and can make the division great again."
Covington knows that a matchup with Woodley could be in his future and couldn't be more excited about it. The two used to be training partners at American Top Team in Coconut Creek before Woodley moved his camp to St. Louis.
"We used to share a lot of sparring hours on that mat right there. We were supposed to fight back in December and he blatantly said he didn't want to fight me to Dana White. He turned down the fight," Covington said. "He said he was ready to go against a 155-er in Nate Diaz, but as soon as he mentioned me, he turned it down. I've literally put him unconscious on these mats here, and I've beaten him in every round I've ever sparred with him, so it's an easy matchup for me."
Covington promises the hatred for Woodley is real.
"We hate each other. That's a real beef. Some of these beefs, it's manufactured and fake. That's a real beef. We legitimately hate each other. We're not going to be able to be in the same room together; there's gonna have to be people that separate us. There's a lot of animosity."
Covington's way with words has not slowed down in the days leading up to his battle with dos Anjos, and if he's successful in stopping the former lightweight champion, you can bet there will be plenty more where that came from.