Colby Covington admitted in an interview this week that his whole persona on camera is just an act and the three champions headlining this weekends UFC 245 card are less than impressed about it.
During an interview with Candice Owen, Covington admitted that he’d cranked up his over-the-top persona in an attempt to save his job in the UFC after being told a few fights ago that the promotion didn’t intend to keep him after his contract ended.
In response Covington beat Demain Maia in Sao Paulo and then got on the mic to proclaim that Brazlians were, “filthy animals,” which was the catalyst for his ‘heel’ persona that he claims led to the UFC changing their minds and giving him a new deal.
“When I’m on camera, I’m amping everything up to 110 because this is the show business, entertainment…” Covington went on to say. “I’m entertaining. I’m putting on a show for the fans because that’s what they want to see. That’s what they pay their hard-earned money for, so I’ve got to give it to them.”
Apparently some other UFC stars haven’t responded well to Covington’s admission though, with his opponent this weekend Kamaru Usman, Max Holloway and Amanda Nunes all chiming in on the subject during an ‘Athlete’s Panel’ ahead of UFC 245 on Saturday night.
“That’s heavy, cuz,” Holloway said. “If you’re going to put up an act, I think you’ve got to stay with the act. When you retire, like WWE guys, they do their stuff, and they keep that act no matter where they’re at, and then when they retire, then they talk about, oh, it was an act. I’m kind of surprised that he came out of nowhere and said it.
“It’s got me shook.”
Naturally, welterweight champion Kamarua Usman saw Covington’s confession as a sign of weakness ahead of their blockbuster fight.
”If you’re putting on an act, you’ve got to sell that,” Usman said. “That’s your sh*t. But that just lets me know his weakness…come on, let’s dissect this thing. You’re already finding a way out. ‘People don’t hate, once I get beat up on Saturday, don’t hate me because I was just putting on an act because when they were going to cut me.’
”Did you guys realize when I fought Tyron Woodley here in this same exact building, I had my open workout. He showed up at somebody’s open workout – if you want to be the champ, you want to show up at the champ’s open workout and try to distract them, right? Why you [didn’t] show up at mine? Because he knew what was going to happen. He knew I was the fight he didn’t want. He’s already been showing his cards for a long time.”
Usman went on to claim that Covington has actually been ducking him since the very start of their careers.
“I was 1-0; I’d never done jiu-jitsu. I said, ‘Yeah, I didn’t give a sh*t.’ I was broke as hell, so I said, yeah, I’ll fight him. Give me 1 and 1, and I’ll fight him.
”I knew of him loosely, because the wrestling world is so small of the elite wrestlers. So I took the fight, but he turned down the fight. And I know he turned it down, because his coach at that time is my coach now, who happened to be my first wrestling coach.”
Even Amanda Nunes went on to have a dig at Covington’s act.
”They have me on a leash, for sure, because this lifestyle is crazy,” Nunes said. “You don’t know how to handle it some times, but that’s why you surround yourself with good people who have your back.”