Colby Covington has gone too far.
In the build-up to UFC Sao Paulo, headliner Colby Covington was never short of disparaging remarks about his opponent Demian Maia or Maia’s country of Brazil. But all the pre-fight banter was eclipsed by Colby’s post-fight interview in which he called Brazil a “dump” erupted the Brazilian fans “filthy animals.” Colby won a close decision, in which he out-ground the blood-smeared Brazilian and ended the fight in dominant position.
While Maia wasn’t a fan of Covington’s remarks, he also wasn’t very by them. At the post-fight press conference, Maia said Colby was different behind the scenes.
“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.”
“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.”
On Saturday, Colby Covington became only the fourth man in 14 attempts to defeat the 39-year-old Jiu-Jitsu phenom Maia However distasteful, Covington’s trash-talking methods appear to be working. Not only did they land the fight against Maia, but the post-fight remarks caused the division champion Tyron Woodley to unleash a a tirade on twitter.
Maia did caution Covington not take things too far:
“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.”
Colby for his part, is far from apologetic about the comments, in an Instagram post, his issued an apology to “any filthy animals [he] may have offended.”
Should Colby Covington be punished for his actions?