Colby Covington may not be the most popular fighter in the UFC’s roster, but he certainly is one of the most outspoken. Despite what UFC fans think of him, he’s managed to get himself an interim title as well as a title shot against the real champ. But even UFC fans can agree with Colby Covington when it comes to how the UFC treats its fighters.
Colby Covington becomes “Colby Covington”
While it may seem confusing, Covington, as a person, is very different than “Colby Covington,” the UFC fighter. That’s because “Colby Covington” is actually an act that the real Covington’s put on whenever the cameras are around him. This is the same thing as what WWE wrestlers do, as wrestlers, more often than not, have to put on a fake persona whenever they’re working.
Before Covington did this, he was a relatively normal UFC fighter who won his fights but didn’t really do anything exciting. Then, in 2017, after he won his fight in Brazil, he trash-talked the crowd in the arena and then, “Colby Covington,” the UFC’s villain, was born. According to Bloody Elbow, he even said that his new villain persona saved his career, as the UFC was threatening to cut him from the roster.
This new villain persona has given him not just big fights, but name recognition, too. He publicly supports Donald Trump, which makes some fans angry, and after winning the interim title, he visited the White House for a photo op with the president.
Additionally, during his fight against Robbie Lawler in 2019, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump were in the audience to support him.
What Colby Covington said about the UFC
While Covington usually doesn’t break character when the cameras are on him, he did break character for a portion of an interview that he did with BT Sports. In that interview, he said that the UFC is in essence, the show business and that fighters have to learn how to entertain fans with their acting skills if they want to make a significant amount of money.
He also said that UFC fighters have to do this because the UFC wants to promote itself rather than promote its fighters. Covington said that this is why the UFC’s president, Dana White, gets more press coverage and media attention than many of his fighters do.
He also said that it’s why the UFC encourages its fighters to promote themselves by doing things like what Covington did, since the UFC won’t promote them. Covington also compared the UFC’s promo strategy with other sports, saying that other sports promote their athletes while the UFC doesn’t.
Why UFC fans reluctantly agree with Colby Covington
Many UFC fans on Reddit don’t like Covington, but they did agree with his points. The UFC has had a long history of not promoting some fighters, and even champions. For example, the current women’s bantamweight and featherweight champion, Amanda Nunes, rarely gets much promotion from the UFC compared to her opponents.
The current heavyweight champ, Stipe Miocic, is in the same boat, too. Miocic has been adamant about letting the UFC promote him instead of promoting himself, but the UFC rarely does this for him. Both Nunes and Miocic are fan-favorite champs who’ve been neglected by the UFC’s promotion team, so it was easy for many UFC fans to see where Covington was coming from.
UFC fans also called White an “egomaniac” who hogs air time in commercials. Those fans also agreed with Covington when he said that White seems to get more promotion and media attention than many of his fighters do.
It does seem strange that White gets so much news coverage compared to the NBA or NFL commissioners, while regular NBA or NFL players get far more attention than regular UFC fighters do.