His comments regarding Brazil being a “dump” and his labeling of Brazilians as “filthy animals” was received poorly by the MMA community.
Covington’s opponent, Demian Maia, was magnanimous as usual following the loss but recently opened up on his concerns regarding the attitude displayed by “Chaos” following the bout. According to Maia, there is a ‘fine line’ between intelligent verbal assaults and crass, aggressive insults (via MMAFighting):
“What he said to me was, since the beginning, during the week, he said he respected me a lot and he was promoting the fight, and that was his way of promoting,” Maia said Saturday at the UFC Sao Paulo post-fight press conference.
“He told me that I’m a legend and that he admires me, and he only does [his trash talking] for promoting. Obviously, it’s not my style. I don’t like that style, but I don’t judge him. I think he’s free to do whatever he wants to promote. What matters is that he was respectful, he was correct to come and talk to me, so there’s no problem.”
Comparing Covington to the UFC’s most renowned trash talkers, Chael Sonnen and Conor McGregor, the Brazilian believes that the risky approach of building yourself up with a big mouth can only truly work once you can back it up inside the Octagon:
“I think sometimes the fighters aren’t very clear on things, and even myself, I’m a fighter, a lot of fighters make mistakes about working their image and how they market themselves,” Maia said. “I think there’s a way of promoting yourself like (Conor) McGregor with intelligence like Sonnen used to do. But I think it’s a fine line between destroying your image or building your image in the long run. I think people are thinking short-term.
“And besides that, McGregor’s style is risky because, as long as you’re winning, it’s fine. When you lose, you’re going to be remembered. It’s like Sonnen. He was a very tough fighter. He almost beat Anderson (Silva) at his height. And I see a lot of friends of mine who don’t follow fighting, and they used to say, ‘Sonnen just talks and he’s not that good,’ because he created that image and he talked a lot. Sonnen, to me, he’s a great athlete, but he created that image so much for himself that people don’t think he’s that good. They just think he talks. So I think it’s a risk you run when you do that.”