Thursday, May 19, 2022

Hooker: Covington Must Be Held Accountable Regardless Of Character

While he acknowledges that Colby Covington has developed a character in front of the camera, UFC fan favorite Dan Hooker believes the welterweight contender should still be held accountable for his words.

Barring perhaps controversial middleweight Sean Strickland, there aren’t fighters who split opinion among the MMA fanbase quite like Covington. The former interim champion and two-time undisputed welterweight title challenger flipped a personality switch in 2017, a move that has developed him into one of the most prominent and discussed athletes on the UFC roster today.

From comments on rival Kamaru Usman‘s father and heritage to constant onslaughts on former teammate Dustin Poirier and his family, not to mention the rant in Brazil that started it all, Covington has made his name by talking trash and creating headlines.

At this point you’d be hard-pressed to find a fighter who hasn’t, in one way or another, been at the end of a Covington insult. If you are on the search for one, you can move past Hooker.

“The Hangman” found his name in Covington’s mouth following his 2020 main event defeat to Poirier. While attempting to discredit his former ATT peer’s victory, “Chaos” questioned how it took “The Diamond” 25 minutes to defeat Hooker, even describing the New Zealander as “not really that good of a fighter.”

While Hooker is certainly not one to be bothered by another fighter’s words, especially when they come from someone he perceives to be playing a character, he still believes Covington should be held accountable for his insults and attacks.

“Do I like him personally? I can’t say that I do. Do I understand and appreciate his skill set in the sport? Yes, I do. Do I understand exactly what he’s doing with his character? I understand that too,” said Hooker during an interaction with John Hyon Ko for The AllStar. “I hear from people that know him and went to college with him that he’s a cool guy, he’s a really chilled guy, a nice guy, helpful guy. But that character is not.

“You still have to be, as a man, you still have to be accountable for the things you say, even if you put a Trump hat on, even if you put a suit on and you get girls to stand next to you, you mouth off to me, you’re gonna have to (own it),” Hooker continued. “The things he says, even though I know (it’s a character), he’s talked shit about me—I know what he’s doing, he’s just kicking up shit on Twitter and social media. But as a man, if I see you, we’ll still have a problem, whether you said it or your character said it. Me and you, man to man, we still have a problem.”

Hooker On Masvidal/Covington: The More Emotional Fighter Will Lose

Given how Covington has approached his recent fights, which saw an animosity-fueled build-up to UFC 268 last November, it’s safe to say the #1-ranked welterweight’s next outing will follow suit.

“Chaos” is set to headline this weekend’s UFC 272 pay-per-view alongside bitter rival and former teammate Jorge Masvidal. Given the pair’s history, which included a period living together and training with one another, fight week is set to deliver on the bad blood the pair share.

With that in mind, Hooker believes the result will come down to which fighter is able to suppress their emotions most effectively when they’re standing opposite each other inside the cage on Saturday night.

“You’d say at this level, and with this much experience, that these guys would have that (sorted). I’d say it’s by choice. You’re gonna want to take all of that emotion out,” suggested Hooker. “The fighter that goes in that Octagon out of Jorge and Colby with emotion, is gonna lose. Without a doubt. Whoever carries emotion into that cage—anger, resentment, jealousy—whoever carries that in is gonna lose. I’d say it would serve them well to take that emotion out of it.”

While Hooker is getting set for a fight of his own, a return to featherweight against Arnold Allen at UFC London later this month, he’ll no doubt be firmly invested in the action at UFC 272, like the majority of fans around the world.

Do you agree with Dan Hooker? Will this weekend’s UFC 272 main event come down to which fighter can suppress their emotions the most effectively?

Related Articles
Related Articles