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Colby Covington previews Jorge Masvidal bout, wants Poirier or Adesanya next

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Former UFC interim welterweight champion Colby Covington previews his March 5 fight versus Jorge Masvidal at UFC 272 and tells Yahoo Sports' Kevin Iole that he plans to finish Masvidal, then wouldn't mind moving up a division to face middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.

Video Transcript

KEVIN IOLE: Hey folks, I am Kevin Iole. UFC 272 on Saturday, March 5th. It is going to be a big one, because you know in the UFC it's almost always the main event is a title fight. And when you have a main event that is not a title fight, you know it's something special. And that's what we have this week. Two bitter rivals are going to be facing off. Number five ranked welterweight, Jorge Masvidal is going up against my guest right now, Colby "Chaos" Covington. And do I need to mention Colby, number one ranked welterweight.

COLBY COVINGTON: That's right baby. You got it wrong, Kevin. There's definitely a title on the line, baby. I'm the people's champ. I'm America's champ. I'm definitely Miami's champ. So I got to defend my title next weekend you know, only on pay per view and T-Mobile arena.

KEVIN IOLE: There is a lot on the line. We know that. You know, and I guess the story of this fight, Colby if I believe everything I read, and you know of course I do being a journalist, right, is the fact that if you were a kid you must have gotten, "doesn't play well with others" on your report card. Your roommate Masvidal, now you're fighting. Jon Jones was your roommate, I see you have a few choice words for him. What's going on with you? You can't get along with the people you live with?

COLBY COVINGTON: I mean there's a common thing with those two guys. You're talking about two scumbags, two criminals. So you know, who'd want to get along with those guys. Those guys are dirt bags, man. They cheat on their wives, they beat their wives. They cheat on their taxes. They don't do anything by the law. So you know, I'm a big believer of law and order. So of course I don't agree with those guys. They're scumbags.

KEVIN IOLE: Well, you're going to get a chance to settle it in the ring against Masvidal. And I wonder you know, both of you guys have fought the champion, Kamaru Usman. Your most recent fight was an unbelievable fight with Usman, could have gone either way. Anything you can take from those fights with Kamaru? You look at his fight, you look at your fight, and apply to this coming fight with Jorge?

COLBY COVINGTON: You know it's tough to to draw comparisons because we fight differently. I'm a southpaw, Usman's orthodox. So you know, I can't take fights from different fights in the past and think that that's going to be the same guy, you know. I think Jorge is going to be hungrier for this fight than he's ever been for any fighting in the history of his career so, you know.

I don't take much from those fights, but you know, I know I went you know, neck and neck with the pound for pound fighter in the world. A lot of people in the world thought I won that fight. I thought I won the rounds three, four, and five. The people in the arena at Madison Square Garden thought I won three, four, and five. It was just, it just sucks that the Three Stooges sitting cage-side in the judges desk decided to score him winning by one round against me. One little measly [? morale, ?] but he didn't proved that he was some dominant pound for pound fighter. And you know, I showed why I'm the number one ranked fighter in the world.

KEVIN IOLE: You know, and I want to ask you about that because I started looking at the pound for pound rankings. UFC does top 15, they don't have Colby Covington ranked in there, in the top 15. I do top 10 and I have to say, maybe an oversight. I don't have Colby Covington in the top 10. ESPN does top 10, they don't have ranked in there. Even though everybody has ranked as the number one in welterweight. What do you think is going on there?

COLBY COVINGTON: You know just a lot of fake news. And journalists not writing impartial journalism. All the journalists have their feelings hurt about me. They have me misconstrued. They don't really know who the real person I am. But they don't want to speak about my resume and the accomplishments of what I've done in this sport. You know, I've done things. I've made history time and time again. And you know, I went neck and neck and beat Usman at multiple rounds in two different fights. You know, we fought 10 rounds. A lot of people in the world thought I'm up 7-3, or at the worst I'm up six rounds to four.

So you know, he's the number one pound for pound fighter. You don't have me in the pound for pound rankings. It just shows that that's all just hype and those are just personal people's feelings. Those aren't, there's no actually validity to those rankings.

KEVIN IOLE: Well yeah I mean, of course that's true. I mean, it's just a personal opinion of what they look at. And I think a lot of it too is [? recency ?] bias, right? You see somebody fight, because-- I honestly, I'll admit this and I was looking at mine before I was, while I was waiting for you to come on here. And I said to myself you know, how do I not have this guy ranked? Because I thought for sure I had you in my top 10. And then I said, oh man I don't. And I still have Robert Whittaker at the bottom of my top 10. And it kind of made me look at it.

But I wonder if you think in the larger picture that maybe what's being held against you is you're not getting finishes. Whereas maybe some of the other guys that are in that top 10 are doing that.

COLBY COVINGTON: Well that's funny because the people that are getting finishes, there's a lot more luck to getting finishes. Yeah, you throw a Haymaker, oh you land a lucky punch. Big deal. Oh yeah, maybe you got lucky and someone got tired. You were able to grab a submission. It's so much more dominant to just take someone from pillar, post, take the will out of him. Beat him from second one to second minute 25. So what I've done in my career, my accomplishments, I've completely dominated everybody. There's no luck involved with what I've done. You know, I've completely beat them from the first second to the last second. So not a lot of people can say that. They've gotten lucky finishes. Big deal.

KEVIN IOLE: I am sure you have spent many rounds in the cage with Masvidal when you were teammates at AT&T. And I wonder about this, do you have anything that you know, maybe the public doesn't know that concerns you about fighting him. I mean, is he good at something that maybe he isn't widely known for?

COLBY COVINGTON: No, I think people know what he's widely known for. You know, he's got some fast twitch muscle fibers. He's able to explode at any moment, but you know, he's a two pump chump. Just like his ex-wife used to tell me. So you know, he can't last with me. He's going to gas out in that octagon. I'm going to make him quit in front of the world, and it's going to be the same thing that happened every time we fought behind closed doors. The only difference is now it's going to be on pay per view and a live audience. So you know, it's a beautiful thing. I can't wait.

KEVIN IOLE: You know, I think when you fought Robbie Lawler I said after that fight, basically, if anything else that was a win by cardio, right? You just kind of wear guy's down. Do you feel like you know, that your advantage over guys-- everybody talks about your wrestling, which is obviously outstanding-- but you have that cardio where you can go in the 25th minute as fast as you were going in the first or second minute.

COLBY COVINGTON: Yeah I don't get tired. You know, a lot of people, they call me the Cardio King for a reason. I got a second lung, you know. What I did to Robbie Lawler man, his face looked like hamburger meat afterward. He did not look good, man. He had a concussion backstage. He was bad. And you know, I broke a strike's record on his face. I think I threw like 500 landed strikes on his face. So that was a history filled night for me. It was a beautiful night, and against you know, the boogeyman of the division. Robbie Lawler was the most fearsome fighter that came through this division. The most heavy puncher that it's had. And I decimated him, I made him look like an amateur. So you know, that's what I do. I just, I pick people apart. I dissect them and you know, my volume, nobody can match my will and my pace in the Octagon. And that's true dominance, man. Not knocking someone out and getting a lucky punch. Dominance is just breaking them and beating them from second one to minute 25.

KEVIN IOLE: You know, I have covered fights for longer than you've been alive, and the one thing that I tend to see in the great fighters is that little will that they have, right? When the going gets tough you know, sometimes. Everybody you know, has those tough moments, but you have that little extra gear that you can get to in fights. How often do you need to hit that? Like I guess in the Usman fight a couple of times you might have had to do that. But how often do you have to push on that next level to kind of find, hey I'm in trouble here and I need to fight my way out of this.

COLBY COVINGTON: Yeah, not too often. You know, the most trouble I ever have is in the bedroom. You know, when I'm putting 10 rounds of Porn Stars cardio together. So not very often there's a fighter that could push me to that limit. Me and Usman, he was able to get me to that limit, and it brought out the best in me and brought out the best in him. So you know, I'm looking to do round three. It makes sense. That fight, there's unfinished business. He hasn't proven he's a better fighter. He didn't come out there and dominate me. It was a very close fight. You know, the judges gave him three rounds to two against me. But the people saw it as three rounds for me and two rounds for him. So I think that that fight can be run back and you know, I'll definitely get to that level if I fight him again.

KEVIN IOLE: You know, I mean, I think that was an unbelievably close fight. And I remember scoring it myself you know and after a couple of rounds you go, OK how do I score this because it was such a close round and so much had gone on in those rounds. But you face the same situation that a lot of fighters have faced over the years. You know, we asked Dana this all the time at post-fight press conferences. Even though you had two close fights with him, you're 0-2 against him. And UFC tends to not want to go to that third fight if you're 0-2, right? They're saying, hey it's been decided who the better guy is. So how do you convince Dana? Do you convince Dana with a performance in this fight? Or does it have to be a series of fights that you show hey, I deserve to be back there?

COLBY COVINGTON: You know, that's going to be up to Dana on Hunter Campbell, the chief executive officer. Man, I love Hunter. He's a great matchmaker and great person. I call him the face that runs the place. He's the guy that decides all the business. And he's the way the machine runs the way it does. So you know, that's their decision, Kevin. I got to go out there and just keep putting a beautiful body of work together. I'll go out there and finish Masvidal next weekend. And hopefully get this fight with Dustin Poirier, he's talked a lot of reckless things and then the media said it's on site saying this and that. So that little Louisiana swamp trash, we can get back to business.

You know, I'm not opposed to going up to 185 and beating up style better. That guy, he's not a well-rounded fighter. He can't keep up with my pace. I know I can take him down and drown him. So there's a lot of options for me out there. If I don't get a chance to do my third fight with Usman, then it's OK. You know, deep down inside I truly know who's the better fighter and I can go away with my career knowing that he wasn't a better fighter and he didn't prove that to me. You know, there's still unfinished business, but if he wants to walk away from the sport then that's his decision. I'm not going anywhere, Kevin. I'm just getting started. The best is yet to come. So you might be seeing Usman retire in the next year, and Colby will be the undisputed champ.

KEVIN IOLE: You saw the fight, I assume you saw the fight between Adesanya and Whittaker. You know, Whittaker and Adesanya saw it a lot differently than each other. And I thought basically Adesanya did a really good job of dealing with those takedowns and everything. Put yourself in Robert Whittaker's place. Do you feel like the fight would have been different?

COLBY COVINGTON: To be honest, I didn't even watch that fight. I was busy with some mamsitas in South Beach. You know, the King of Miami has got duty calls, man. I got to take care of my women. I got to make sure I'm getting ready for my pay per view fight, so I'm working on that bedroom cardio. So I can't really speak for other fighters and how they do. All I can do is speak for myself, man. And myself says I just got to keep getting better every single day. Keep working hard and being the blue collar kid that that's where I was raised and that's how I'm going to continue to be.

KEVIN IOLE: I was just disappointed that there was nobody in the background there for me. I was expecting you know, you're really step up your game for me with this big interview we're doing here, Colby.

COLBY COVINGTON: Yeah, I know. I should have brought some nice tatas for you to look at. It's always much enjoyable to see on the screen. And I know all the people love it.

KEVIN IOLE: Instead we're looking at this face.

COLBY COVINGTON: That's true.

KEVIN IOLE: Anyway brother, we will wish you best of luck on March 5th at T-Mobile arena in Vegas. UFC 272. This man, Colby Covington will be fighting Jorge Masvidal in the main event. Don't miss that. Colby, thanks a lot. Appreciate you, brother.

COLBY COVINGTON: Thanks, buddy. Have a great day.

KEVIN IOLE: You too. Be well.