Before Colby Covington was ducking boomerangs in Australia, he was celebrating his victory against Demian Maia after a raucous trip to Brazil that ended with an arena full of fans all seething in anger after what he said in his victory speech.
At the time, Covington took aim at Brazil by calling the entire country “a dump” and then proclaimed its citizens were “filthy animals” and he only added to that with a “formal apology” that blasted the country and its people a second time.
Since then, Covington has faced a storm of criticism from a laundry list of Brazilian fighters, fans and reporters who took umbrage with what he had to say.
Covington knew his words were going to get under people’s skin but he doesn’t really seem to care much about who he offended or who might not like what he has to say because nothing is going to censor him from saying it.
“I’m the most hated man in Brazil right now,” Covington told the Fight Society podcast ahead of his trip to Australia this week. “No big deal. A lot of people love me around the world so it’s OK to be hated in Brazil. I’m probably not going back.”
Obviously, Covington understood than many of his fellow fighters weren’t going to enjoy what he said, but it definitely hit close to home when numerous athletes from his home gym at American Top Team started taking aim at him as well.
“When I go back [to American Top Team], there will be people who will like me and people who will not like me. I’m not too worried,” Covington said. “I’m not in this to make friends. If people don’t want to be cool with me and they don’t understand what I’m doing, that’s their fault, not mine. All I set out to do was be the best fighter in the world. You’ve got a problem with that, you’re jealous of that, that’s your fault.
“You stick to your own business and I’ll stick to my own business but we can be professionals about this.”
There are definitely people who stand by his side, however, like fellow welterweight competitor Jorge Masvidal, who traveled with Covington to Australia earlier this week before the mayhem broke out in a skirmish with Fabricio Werdum.
Covington says he has plenty of teammates and coaches who support him no matter what and those are ultimately the people that matter most.
“Those guys understand what I’m doing,” Covington said. “I’m taking over the game. This is my division now. They see that. They’ve been with me since the beginning, they understand what I’m doing and they’re on my side.”