Meet the reporter who challenged Colby Covington during the former UFC interim champion's racist tirade at UFC Vegas 11.
Covington called Tyron Woodley a domestic terrorist sympathizer, criminal supporter and communist for supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. Cageside Press' Rodney James Edgar asked Covington to clarify his statements about Woodley and the social justice movement. Covington chose to double down on his troubling and dangerous remarks.
Covington said he fights for the troops which makes it all the more appropriate that Edgar is a U.S. combat veteran. Edgar caught up with Fightful to elaborate on why he challenged Covington, the consequences of those statements and how it makes him feel as a veteran.
"Colby has been saying the same sort of rhetoric for a long time," Edgar begins. "How it's my business and yours' and everyone else who enjoys the sport's. It's become a nuisance. People have been gun shy. I don't think I even really challenged him. By definition, I did. By connotation, that kind of sounds like it was more aggressive or hostile than it actually was. So lest anyone who hasn't heard it thinks I went in there to ask him gotchya questions, that was not the case at all. He said some things I felt he should answer for in his own words. He had an opportunity to either clarify some of the more incendiary remarks he made or walk them back and maybe even apologize."
"It was a calculated move to open up communication with him and have a difficult conversation that needs to be had. This is not a WWE storyline where it's just a harmless back-and-forth," he continued. "That's just wrestling fans in their bubble getting caught up in a moment. Now we're talking about real-world consequences. You start to slander Black Lives Matter with a broad brush... For Colby to come out in the span of two days and say he [Woodley] is a racist, he is a terrorist sympathizer, he hates America, he supports criminals. Imagine if someone were to say those things about you. I'd want you to answer for it in your own words because those are some pretty harsh allegations. It goes well beyond just trying to sell a fight and create hype. It's disrespectful and it's also dangerous."
Covington claims to be a supporter of the American troops and while Edgar finds the sentiment "flattering," he also feels responsible "to call certain ideology into question."
"Obviously I don't represent the military or even all veterans for that matter. But then again, Colby doesn't represent any veterans whatsoever, including himself, because he's not one," Edgar asserted. "You see so many faux patriots in my country. People who try to rewrite the definition of what it means to be a patriot. For me, it's incredibly offensive."
UFC Vegas 11 took place on Saturday, September 19 from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada with Covington vs. Woodley headlining. Fightful is provided live coverage of the event, which streamed live on ESPN+.