Where in the World Is Colby Covington?: Opinion

Image for Where in the World Is Colby Covington?: Opinion

The night of March 5th, 2022 likely should’ve been one of the best moments in Colby Covington’s professional life.

His highly anticipated matchup with Jorge Masvidal (former “best friend” and training partner turned bitter and ugly rival) had gone perfectly. Covington had totally overwhelmed the veteran Masvidal with his usual mix of low-power, high-volume striking and relentless wrestling exchanges. In the past, however, where Covington has usually collected ground control time in short bursts, taking his opponent back down after they’ve worked too hard to make their way back to their feet, he kept Masvidal primarily grounded.

Skip to any point in the fight and, save for a blistering counter-right hook that temporarily dropped Covington to one knee, Colby is in total control. It is a fight that can only be described in absolute terms: domination, a drubbing, a complete shutout performance. It saw Covington walk away with all the bragging rights and a clean unanimous decision victory, and indeed should’ve been the end of the rivalry.

Then, something rather unprecedented happened, as the fight spilled from the Octagon and into the streets of Miami.

Colby Covington vs Jorge Masvidal – Who Won?

On March 22, two-and-a-half weeks after their sanctioned bout, the patrons of Miami Beach’s Papi Steak restaurant got an exclusive sneak peek at the surprise sequel.

According to court documents, somewhat vague and unlikely to be expanded upon soon given the ongoing legal issues related to the event, Jorge Masvidal was accused of assaulting Colby Covington outside of the aforementioned restaurant as Covington was leaving the premises. It appears that punches were exchanged, but Covington came off the worse, given that he had no advance warning.

Jorge Masvidal has been formally charged with aggravated battery and criminal mischief after Colby Covington, somewhat shockingly, decided to press charges against him. Colby Covington has alleged that the assault resulted in the suffering of a brain injury, damage to his tooth, and to a watch reportedly valued at $90,000.

This seems pretty cut-and-dry as far as the court of public opinion is concerned: Colby Covington settled their business pretty concretely in the appropriate forum and paid an entirely unfair toll for Jorge Masvidal’s bruised ego, which has (allegedly) manifested itself in a cowardly manner.

So then, why is public opinion so divided on who is in the wrong? Why was the revelation that Covington chose to press charges even a revelation, and not an assumed certainty?

Because Colby Covington, the MAGA-loving, ultra-patriotic, diamond wearing, trash-talking dirtbag who has made his name on saying the worst things he possibly can about opponents and their loved ones, doesn’t mesh well with the Colby Covington who has gone totally radio silent, co-operated with police in their investigations, and is upset because his nice watch is broken and his tooth has been chipped.

Colby Covington – The Value of Hate

In the build-up to Covington’s first fight against then-and-now UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, Covington accused Usman of giving Glenn Robinson (founder of the “Blackzillians”, a legendary MMA team that Usman trained with extensively in the earlier stages of his career) a heart attack because Usman was “ducking” Covington for years. He followed this remark up by saying that Robinson would be “watching from Hell on December 14.”

Glenn Robinson is indeed dead. He died from a heart attack. These comments are, objectively, awful. They are designed only to hurt Usman. In the process, they desecrate the memory of a man whose crime was … establishing one of the most successful teams in all of MMA history. Covington seemingly has no boundaries whatsoever when it comes to what he will say to secure another pay-per-view sale.

In Covington’s post-fight interview following his TKO victory over Tyron Woodley, in an impromptu verbal confrontation with Usman, Colby (who was only a few minutes removed from a frankly embarrassing on-air phone call with Donald Trump where Covington came off like a giddy schoolgirl) asked Usman if he had received any “smoke signals from your tribe?”.

Kamaru Usman was born in Nigeria and moved to America at 8 years old. The implication here, that people from Nigeria must be primitives who communicate through fire and still live in tribes, is obvious. Covington’s fans (who are less fans of him and his fights, and more just fans of seeing someone be obnoxious and unkind) will deny it, but everyone else can be honest and say yes, Colby Covington weaponizes racism to talk trash and sell fights.

Covington has never touched gloves with any of his opponents since making the public turn towards playing the “bad guy.” He’s made public comments about Woodley’s previous marriages, questioned the paternity of Dustin Poirier’s daughter, and mocked Matt Hughes’ near-fatal accident after his fight with Robbie Lawler (an accident that caused severe life-changing brain damage to Hughes, the kind of which he will likely never recover from). There are so many moments in Covington’s career, from YouTube interviews to official press conferences and exchanges on Twitter, that make it clear that Colby will take any shot he possibly can. Understandably, this has caused a lot of anger and downright hatred toward Colby from his peers.

So why then, would Colby not realize that yeah, talking about Masvidal’s relationship with his children, his ex-wife and his struggles with poverty might result in some consequences that breach the confines of the UFC Octagon and a legal contract to fight inside it.

Colby commits violence to people’s lives with his words to make money. Glenn Robertson’s daughters made a public comment asking Colby not to mention their father because his comments were, understandably, extremely distressing for two young women who had recently lost their father. Masvidal’s decision to physically assault Covington creates a more immediate and tangible form of violence, but does that make it more real than the kind that Colby creates?

Colby fans will clamor to say “words aren’t violence! Being offended isn’t the same as being punched!” Which is obviously true. But just we can draw a tangible difference between the two doesn’t mean that they cannot both be forms of violence.

If Colby fights a Jewish athlete, are we going to say something as a community if he starts making allusions to the Holocaust? What about if he starts making references to slavery against Black athletes? He’s already supported the conspiracy theory that the 2020 Presidental Election was stolen from Donald Trump, so how deep down the rabbit hole is Covington allowed to fall before someone says something?

Since this incident, Colby has gone entirely radio silent, likely because he needs time to figure out how to incorporate being assaulted, actively working with law enforcement to prosecute his assailant and claiming damages for his watch is going to integrate into the character he has spent the majority of his career cultivating: An American Patriot who takes on all comers, fights tooth and nail and speaks the “truth” no matter how unsavory it may be.

We know why people are laughing at Covington, why people are excusing Masvidal’s alleged role in this altercation and why so many feel this has been a long time coming.

Covington talks the talk and walks the walk. It just turns out that sometimes the road is longer than you might think, and the walk wasn’t quite so straightforward.

Featured Image credit: Embed from Getty Images

Share this article

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *