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Has Colby Covington crossed the line with his trash talk?

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UFC 225: Whittaker v Romero 2
ANALYST
Modified 27 Sep 2020, 16:38 IST
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Colby Covington may have crossed the line with his "Make America Great Again" gimmick.

Covington is no stranger to controversies, the loud-mouth Welterweight contender has managed to create a bad blood with almost every fighter in his division including the former interim lightweight Champion Dustin Poirier. In the lead up to UFC Vegas 11, Covington made comments which did not go too well with the fans, including his war of words with Kamaru Usman after the fight.

A common defense seen from Covington fans is that he is playing a character to garner support or hatred, in order to get a bigger pay-check, better deals, and better opportunities in his UFC career. Covington has been successful in doing that, with his rivalry against Tyron Woodley, Jorge Masvidal, and Kamaru Usman being considered as the most dreaded feud of the recent time.

Colby Covington has shown his open support to Donald Trump in the past, and has had his fair share of back and forth with Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman. However, we have seen a much different Colby Covington ever since his loss at UFC 245. Colby Covington 2.0 as Chaos likes to call himself, Covington has taken his trash-talk to a level which leaves no door for apologies, or amends. The recent comments from Colby Covington stretches beyond his MAGA character and shows that there's an increasing need for the UFC to take a stand on whenever their fighters, who represent the sport and are influential, make worrying statements.

Colby Covington calls Tyron Woodley a terrorist

UFC Fight Night: Covington v Woodley
UFC Fight Night: Covington v Woodley

After Tyron Woodley shared his thoughts on the Black Lives Matter campaign and wanted to raise awareness about police brutality, Colby Covington branded the former Champion as a marxist, communist, and stated that "he hates America", while criticizing him for "standing up for lifelong criminals," as he claimed that the Black Lives Matter is a complete "joke" and a "sham."

“The Black Lives Matter is a complete sham,” Covington said post-fight. “It’s a joke. They’re taking these people that are complete terrorists. They’re taking these people that that are criminals. These aren’t people that are hardworking Americans, blue-collar Americans. These are bad people. They’re criminals. They shouldn’t be attacking police,” Covington added.
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Soon after his emphatic win over former Champion Tyron Woodley, Colby Covington got into a heated argument with Kamaru Usman. Covington slammed Usman for his Nigerian roots, "Who did you get a call from? Did you get a call from, freaking, your little tribe? Did they give you some smoke signals for you?” Covington shouted at Usman after recieveing a call from U.S President Donald Trump after his win over Woodley.

There's a reason to believe that Colby Covington has often crossed the line with his trash talk. Earlier, Covington went to the length of stating that he would beat Dustin Poirier to the extent that "his wife will divorce him."

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Colby Covington's distasteful comments about former Champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk also raises concerns. Covington broke ATT gym owner "zero-tolerance" policy on trash-talking with training partners, leading to his ouster from American Top Team. Covington called Joanna, "ugly" and "washed up" leading to her title match against Zhang Weili for the strawweight Championship.

“In the beginning of the week, I put a video out before the fight [giving his prediction]. Joanna wants an apology, so here’s my apology – Joanna, I’m sorry. I’m sorry you had to get your face rearranged, and everybody’s gonna get rich. And that’s exactly what happened, I got rich. I made a Rolex off Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s b**** ass.”

Colby Covington had said after Joanna Jedrzejczky's failed attempt at grabbling the UFC gold against Weili Zhang back at UFC 248. The comments were concerning, and was evidently disrespectful towards a prominent women fighter, who has scaled the heights of multiple divisions and continues to be the ambassador of the sport. Reacting to the same, Joanna released a statement.

“He has to bow down to the queen and say sorry. Colby should be more respectful to his teammates and women in general. He should learn how to say ‘Hi, I’m sorry,’ ‘I apologize.’ He’s getting there.” H/t Credit: BJPenn

UFC as a promotion should be looking at drawing a thin line between trash-talk and hate-speech. Covington's recent comments are concerning and if UFC doesn't look into it, it could prove to be a huge problem for the promotion.

Earlier, Dana White had stated that UFC stands for free-speech and that the UFC or the ESPN won't be taking any steps against Colby Covington for his recent comments. Be that as it may, there's a reason to believe that the promotion should be taking some responsibility with regard to their fighters and their appearances outside of the sport. Most importantly, for someone like Colby Covington, who is incredibly popular and could be looking at a title shot at some point in 2020, the kind of message that UFC is sending through it's prominent fighters certainly needs some discretion.

Published 27 Sep 2020, 16:38 IST
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