Colby Covington picked up what may have been the biggest win of his professional MMA career when he defeated Demian Maia by unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night Sao Paulo.
However, the fighter issued a post-fight speech garnered a lot of hatred from the Brazilian faithful, whom he referred to as “filthy animals.”
In the post-fight news conference, the victorious fighter believes he was justified for his comments towards the Brazilian people.
“I don’t walk back anything I said because I don’t think I said anything that offensive,” Covington said. “Look at the stuff they’re saying to me all week, the stuff in the walkout. They’re saying, ‘Oh, you’re a (expletive). You’re going to die. You’re a (expletive). You’re this.’ Homophobic slurs. All these different super-nasty remarks. Where’s the double standard at? They can say these things, but I say, ‘Oh, the place is a dump’ and ‘they’re filthy animals’ just as a game? This is a game to me. I’m just having fun with it. I’m just trying to promote and make it fun for the fans. How am I taking criticism from that? Look at what they’re saying to me. Stop having a double standard.”
It was also through Twitter where Covington defended his comments:
On the walk out I get called every name in the book then they chant "You Gonna Die" I poke back at them a bit and everyone loses their mind?— Colby Covington (@ColbyCovMMA) October 29, 2017
The comments drew criticism from those within the fight community, including UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley and former UFC fighter Antonio Silva.
Are you guys really going to edge this idiot on? This is why our sport is becoming a joke. He just got out struck by a BJJ guy --— Tyron T-Wood Woodley (@TWooodley) October 29, 2017
He changed his name to Colby "Cotton Fist" Covington. Or Easy Money Covington. Sum like that. I'm embarrassed he was proud of that https://t.co/cVDPnB7e5T— Tyron T-Wood Woodley (@TWooodley) October 29, 2017
Please teach him how to respectfully earn a shot. https://t.co/3Nf6pGcHST— Tyron T-Wood Woodley (@TWooodley) October 29, 2017
Maia, whom Covington defeated at UFC Fight Night Sao Paulo, says the fighter was merely using his methods to promote himself and the fight.
“Since the beginning of the week, he said he respected me a lot, and he was promoting the fight, and that was his way of promoting,” stated Maia at the post-fight news conference. “He told me I’m a legend, and he admires me and he only does that for promoting.”
UFC Senior Vice President David Shaw stated after the event that the UFC Code Of Conducts Committee is already looking into what the welterweight said.
“It’s already being reviewed by our Code of Conduct Committee,” Shaw said after the event. “And it’s something we’re not very happy about. We’ve got to go back and look at it. It’s just not something we’re proud of. Our investment and our support of Brazilian fans, Brazilian athletes and the Brazilian market is steadfast and will continue. And I think in our opinion it’s just something that is uncalled for and inappropriate.”
There is no word at this time as to what kind of punishment Covington may be facing down the line, or whether he will get punished at all.
Controversy would not go away for Covington, who would issue his own form of "apology" through Twitter:
Thus far in his UFC career, the controversial welterweight holds a 2-1-0 record against fighters who hail from the country of Brazil. Covington defeated the duo of Demain Maia and Wagner Silva Gomes, while suffering a loss to Warlley Alves.