UFC 268’s Colby Covington Doesn’t Miss Days Before He Took on Current Persona: “I Was Broke”

New York, NY — Their first meeting was a grudge match, with a ton of heat and ample media coverage. The rematch between Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington, which comes this weekend at UFC 268, has been a little more understated.

Especially on the part of Covington, who shot to fame care of a pro wrestling-style “heel” persona, which saw him play a Trump-loving, ring wing character.

Despite a softer build, Covington gave his thoughts on the champ during the UFC 268 media day on Wednesday. “I go to bed every single night with revenge on my mind, and I realize that revenge is a dish best served cold,” Covington stated. “And I’m going to serve that revenge dish to Marty on Saturday night, and I got some really bad intentions for him. He’s not going to want to come back for round three after I’m done with him on Saturday night.”

A former interim welterweight champion, Covington made several changes between his first Usman fight and now, including a change in camps. He singled out corner advice as one area he was unhappy with his old team, ATT.

“If you go back and look at the first fight, the instructions that I was getting, they were telling me something that I do every single day. They were saying ‘Colby, breathe.’ Dude, we breathe every single day,” Covington exclaimed. “Why are you telling me to breathe? Everybody in this room knows how to breathe. Not everybody knows how to fight, and knows how to instruct fighters, and the right instructions to fight.”

When it comes to the loss back in December 2019, “I made a lot of mistakes in that first fight, that was my worst night, and I was still able to do that,” Covington added. “And that was his best night. So Saturday night, you’re going to see the upgraded software.”

Despite fighting just once since — a dominant showing against Tyron Woodley — Covington does not expect cage rust to be a factor. He doesn’t subscribe to the theory at all, in fact. “People that believe in ring rust are the people that are mentally weak.”

Coming out of last weekend’s UFC 267, the breakout star was once again Khamzat Chimaev, coming off his own extended layoff to claim a dominant fourth win. That performance has left many playing fantasy matchmaker for Chimaev, and Covington’s name is a popular one in that scenario.

Colby, for one, disagrees. “C*mshot Chimaev has got to do a lot more work than get three fights in the UFC,” he stated, intentionally altering Chimaev’s name in full promo mode. “You guys hype these guys up real quick, but let’s not forget that he was put down by the common cold. He was ready to retire off the common cold. That’s a 99.9% survival rate, to beat the common cold, and C*mshot Chimaev was ready to give it up and retire. He doesn’t want to fight me, he’s got a way less chance then 99.9% against me.”

What Chimaev actually had was a serious bout with COVID-19, a completely different member of the coronavirus family, but Covington knows how to get people talking. Nor does he miss the days before he had to turn everything up to 11, he told Cageside Press.

“No, I don’t miss those days. Those days, I was broke, and I wasn’t making the paychecks that I’m making now,” Covington stated. “I love what I do, I’m thankful to be in the UFC, and God bless Dana White and Hunter Campbell for giving me these opportunities.”

When it comes to those who aren’t on board with his personality and self-promotion, “the biggest thing is, the UFC stands for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, this is not the Ultimate Feelings Championship,” said Covington. “So I’m here to take checks, break necks, and send people out on stretchers, like I did my last fight. If people are mad at me because I love America and love my President, that’s their problem. I could give a f*ck less what their opinion is.”

The biggest thing is, added Covington, is that anyone can have a different opinion than him. “I agree to disagree. I’m not going to berate you for your opinion, like you guys try to do to me. I’m going to respect you, because I’m respectful. In America, we have freedoms. Land of the free, home of the brave. We’ve got constitutional rights, you’ve got freedom of speech, I’m not going to be mad at you for whatever you believe in.”

So the expect the self-promotion to continue, win or lose, following UFC 268.

Watch the full UFC 268 media day appearance from Colby Covington above. More coverage of the event can be found below. UFC 268 takes place Saturday November 6 at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY.