Colby Covington was close to not being a UFC fighter.
The former interim welterweight champion says the Las Vegas-based promotion was not going to re-sign him before he cut the ‘filthy animals’ promo after the Demian Maia fight. He says that saved his job.
“I’ve never told this story before but three fights ago, before I fought the number two guy in the world. This guy named Demian Maia in Brazil. They had told my manager Dan Lambert that they weren’t going to re-sign me. They didn’t like my style, they didn’t like that I wasn’t entertaining,” Covington said to Candace Owens (via BJPENN.com). “This is before I really started to become an entertainer and really understand the entertainment aspect of the business. Before this fight, they told me no matter what happens, I was ranked No. 6 in the world, we’re not re-signing you, we don’t like your character, we don’t like your fighting style. And I’m getting paid $30,000 to go fight the No. 2 guy in the world. After you pay taxes and pay your coaches you’re really going to get $5000 or $10,000.”
“So I go out there and I beat him up and leave him in a pool of blood in Sao Paulo, in his home city. I shoot this promo on the Brazilians and say, ‘You guys are all a bunch of filthy animals and Brazil you’re a dump.’ So I go and shoot this promo, and I wasn’t supposed to have my job, but that promo goes so viral on the internet, that the UFC’s like, we have to keep him, we have to re-sign him because that promo is so big. So that’s what saved my career and that was the turning point of my career. The rest has been history.”
Since that fight, Colby Covington claimed the interim title with a win over Rafael dos Anjos and beat Robbie Lawler back in August. He is set to fight for the welterweight title in the main event of UFC 245 against Kamaru Usman.