The story went that “Chaos'” mere presence at the high-profile pay-per-view from Anaheim, Calif., sent his fellow fighters into a frenzy. It got to the point that UFC president Dana White had to step in and tell his athletes to knock it off. It also proved that Covington has almost assuredly assumed the mantle of MMA’s most hated personality. He seems to be just fine with that.
The former interim UFC welterweight champion spoke up about the situation in an interview with MMA Fighting’s Danny Segura from his American Top Team (ATT) gym in Florida. Covington first posed the question why fighters would want to fight him in the crowd and not in the cage:
“It’s embarrassing, man. We’re supposed to be professionals and these guys wanna act like street thugs. They want to fight in the crowd, but they don’t want to fight in the Octagon and makes millions of dollars.”
To him, it was a pure matter of other fighters being jealous of him due to his pay and track record:
“So it’s pathetic. Like Dana White said, they’re little kindergarten kids. Own up, be a professional, man. Don’t get so salty, don’t get in your feelings just ‘cause I’m making more money than you. Just ‘cause your jealous I win every fight and you can’t stop me. Don’t be jealous of that. “
Asked to detail just went on at UFC 241, Covington used that opportunity to take a jab at one of his teammates. He claimed surging welterweight Jorge Masvidal ‘had his back’ in the ruckus. But he then threw shade at ‘Gamebred’ by saying he wasn’t welcome in the front row where he sat:
“There’s not really much to clarify. My boy Jorge Masvidal had my back. He was like three or four rows back. I was front row, you know, because they put the champ front row obviously. I was trying to get my boy Jorge to the front row, but he’s gotta earn his way up.”
Covington will expectedly take on 170-pound champion Kamaru Usman in his next bout. The fight is not yet official but has been rumored for November 2’s UFC 244 from Madison Square Garden in NYC. For his part, Usman has claimed thousands of fans want him to literally murder Covington when they fight.
So it’s hardly a surprise a few fighters wanted to rough him up in Anaheim. However, that only proves his over-the-top strategy is working just as intended.