This past weekend UFC welterweight prospect Colby Covington made some controversial comments towards a hostile Brazilian crowd.
Covington is one of the top prospects in the welterweight division, having only lost one time in his professional mixed martial arts (MMA) career. With a 13-1 record, Covington is currently on a five-fight win streak after downing Brazilian MMA legend and jiu-jitsu specialist Demian Maia.
Maia was previously on a seven-fight win streak before losing his 170-pound title bout against Tyron Woodley via unanimous decision at UFC 214 this past July. He then followed that up with is decision loss to Covington in October.
After his victory Covington continued his tirade on Brazilian fans that he had been on for weeks now. He proceeded to call the Brazilian crowd "filthy animals," something Demian Maia tells MMA Fighting that he didn't appreciate (quotes via MMA Fighting):
“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,” Maia said Saturday at the UFC Sao Paulo post-fight press conference.
“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.
“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.”
What are your thoughts on Maia's comments regarding Covington's disrespectful words to the Brazilian crowd this past weekend? Do you think that Covington went too far? Or is he simply just trying to hype himself up and continue to promote himself? Let us know your thoughts on the matter in the comments section below!
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