Colby Covington earned the biggest win of his UFC at the weekend with a win over former title challenger Demian Maia in Brazil, but not without controversy.
The American won via a unanimous decision Brazil and then proceeded to bait the Brazilian crowd, calling them “filthy animals” before he was pelted with bottles as he left the Octagon.
He said that he was also threatened by Brazilian UFC fighters backstage after making the comments.
The hostility towards Covington was arguably deserved as he had been taunting Brazilian fans for weeks during the build-up to the welterweight fight.
Still, the 29-year old doesn’t seem to regret his behaviour even though it threatened to get him in trouble with the spectators and the UFC.
“It was crazy, man,” Covington told MMA Fighting. “The experience, it was awesome. You know, I love that. I knew I was going into hostile territory. I knew they were gonna be real sad, there was gonna be a lot of people pissed after I beat Demian. I expected that. It was awesome, man. It was a fun time.”
Covington was later absent from the post-fight press conference, with UFC executive David Shaw claiming they were not happy with his comments.
“I had my suit ready,” Covington said. “I was all dressed up, ready to go. But then [UFC official] Reed [Harris] put me in the van. He was like, ‘Hey, we’ve gotta get you out of here. We don’t know if it’s safe for you to be here.’
“They either pulled me for two reasons. They either pulled me because they thought it was dangerous and they didn’t know if it would be good. Or they pulled me because they thought I was gonna say more controversial comments about Brazil.
“We went in through the negative levels,” Covington said. “They guarded me up the elevator. They wouldn’t let anybody else on the elevator. We ducked so no one sees us over the balcony. We walked back to our room. I’m in my room on lockdown.”
Covington added that that he also nervous about being recognised at the airport and travelled there wearing sunglasses, a hoodie, and a hat.
“I was a little nervous. I can’t lie.”
The Californian then defended his behaviour, saying it was a reaction to the abuse he had received from the crowd.
“I just didn’t like how they treated me when I was in the tunnel before the walkout to the fight. I’m sitting in the tunnel and they’re yelling all these things. ‘Oh, I f**ked your mom,’ this and that. Stuff about me, ‘Oh, you’re gonna die.’ Throwing cups and stuff and hot dogs.
“You need to respect me,” he said. “I’m going into a fight, this is professionals. So, I just felt disrespected by them. I didn’t say anything that was too outlandish.”
He added that he doesn’t he’ll be returning to Brazil anytime soon.
“No, not at all,” Covington said. “With the way they treat people over there, you can’t do that over in Canada, Ariel. You can’t do that in USA. You won’t hear whole crowds doing stuff like that and the things they do. So, I don’t think I crossed any line. America.
“I’m a company man,” he said. “I’ll go wherever the UFC wants me to go. But I probably won’t be making an appearance back in Brazil.”