Colby Covington is no stranger to playing the bad guy. In fact, he thrives on it. All but one of Covington’s UFC wins have come in his opponent’s home country. He is not afraid to speak his mind; he’s called out champions, contenders, and even been booed in Sao Paulo, Brazil after calling the city a dump.
Covington has promised UFC fans he will put Demian Maia to sleep in front of the Brazilian’s hometown fans at UFC Fight Night 119 then force Tyron Woodley into retirement. If kept, these promises will propel the #7 ranked welterweight into UFC stardom. It is no secret that Colby Covington has big plans for the future, but where did he come from?
From wrestler to fighter
Colby Covington’s career in combat started at a young age through wrestling. As a wrestler, Covington won a state high school championship and a junior college national title for Iowa Central Community College where he was roommates with Jon Jones. He transferred to Oregon State University where he became an All-American, two time Pac-10 Champion, and finished as high as fifth in the NCAA tournament. A wrestling background has served Covington well in his transition to MMA as he has landed 41 takedowns in the UFC in just nine fights.
After graduating from Oregon State, Covington shifted his focus to MMA. He made the life-changing decision to move to Florida to train with American Top Team where he sparred with current champion, Tyron Woodley. Covington has been public many times in saying that he does not consider Woodley a teammate anymore, but an enemy. He insists he had no problems taking down or submitting Woodley who "acted like a diva" in training. Woodley's side of the story, however, is unsurprisingly different. Covington is convinced that he will break Woodley if he gets the chance, but it would be a huge mistake to look past 4th-degree black-belt and multiple time submission grappling world champion, Demian Maia.
Road to contention
Signed to the UFC in 2014, the 29-year-old Colby Covington has risen into title contention very quickly. In his UFC debut, Covington's first-round submission of Anying Wang due to strikes turned plenty of heads. He followed that victory up with a submission win over Wagner Silva and a decision victory over Mike Pyle. Covington's only loss came against Warlley Alves who caught him in a guillotine at UFC 194. Since that defeat, Covington has been on a tear, stringing together four consecutive wins including his most recent against tenth-year UFC veteran, Dong Hyun Kim.
In his unanimous decision over Kim, MMA fans were shown Covington's relentlessness. He smothers opponents with his superior wrestling and empties their gas tanks. This strategy was most evident in Covington's victory over Bryan Barberena where he secured 12 takedowns in the three-round bout. Opponents must defend takedown after takedown just for a chance to stand and trade with Covington who has shown punching power as well. Covington is in for the toughest fight of his life on October 28 where he will face a man who is not afraid of being taken down. It will be interesting to see if Covington trusts his submission defense enough to test his wrestling on Demian Maia or if he will attempt to strike with the veteran. If Colby Covington can get his hand raised in Brazil, he may get his shot at Tyron Woodley.
If Covington can beat Maia, do you think he deserves a title shot? Leave a comment below.
Want to share your opinion? Why not Write For Us?