UFC's No. 1-ranked welterweight Colby Covington joins Yahoo Sports to preview his upcoming fight against champion Kamaru Usman at UFC 268 on Nov. 6 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
KEVIN LOLE: Hey, folks. I am Kevin Iole. Welcome to Yahoo Sports, and my guest right now is the Bad Guy. They used to call Chael Sonnen the Bad Guy, this is the bad guy of the UFC right now, welterweight contender Colby Covington. Of course, UFC 268 coming up, the best card of the year. Unbelievably stacked in the main event at Madison Square Garden. He will be fighting Kamaru Usman in a rematch of a 2019 fight.
Colby, how's it going today?
COLBY COVINGTON: It's going great, man. Living the American dream, can't complain. How are you doing?
KEVIN IOLE: I'm doing awesome. I really enjoyed that fight with you and Usman last time. Tremendous battle. I know you weren't happy with Mark Goddard at the end of the fight. But do you think we can expect a similar fight this time around?
COLBY COVINGTON: Yeah. I think the fans are in for a treat, you know. It makes sense that this is being held at the Mecca of all arenas, you know, Madison Square Garden. And, you know, and the people are back, you know. The pandemic's pretty much over now. The scamdemic so they want to call it. And it's going to be the greatest fight, I think, in the UFC history, you know. You have a guy and myself, who's hungrier than ever. I wake up every morning with revenge on my mind. And next weekend, I'm-- you know, revenge is a dish best serve cold, and I'm going to serve it cold [? to Marty ?] next weekend at Madison Square Garden live on pay per view.
KEVIN IOLE: What happened in that first fight? Because, I mean, you started off-- you were out boxing him. I don't think anybody would doubt that early in the fight. And then it seemed like as the fight wore on, he took over. From your standpoint, what was the difference as the fight progressed?
COLBY COVINGTON: I mean, the difference was everybody could see its plain as the day. If you go back and look at the fight, look at the momentum shifts, look at the fact that I kick him in the liver and Mark [? not-so-Goddard ?] calls a nut shot. Look at the fact that I high kick him and he's on wobbly street. And I barely touched his left eye and he's holding his right eye to get an extra break, a five minute timeout. So the momentum shifts in the fight were a big difference in the outcome of the fight and in the way the fight went.
And obviously, the fight was stopped way too early. You know, I signed up as a UFC fighter to go out on my shield. They didn't let me go out on my shield. I was intelligently defending myself, you know. And they called the early stoppage with 40 seconds to go in one of the greatest fights of all time. And that's what overshadows it is they call the TKO when it wasn't a TKO, you know. I was-- I was up on the scorecards 3-1, the judges had it that way. And, you know, they stopped the fight prematurely.
So, you know, the great thing, Kevin, is that that fight's in the past. And next weekend, we're going to find out who's the better fighter. There's not going to be any early stoppages, there's not going to be any timeouts. There's going to have an impartial and fair ref in there this time. So I can't wait, you know. I'm going to get my hand raised and there's not a man alive right now that's going to be able to stop me next weekend.
KEVIN IOLE: Why-- why do you think Usman has been-- you have been critical of Kamaru. You refer to him as Marty derisively. You know, the guy's been unbeaten since what? You know, he's reeled off a ton of wins in a row. I mean, you know, you yourself said he sucks and yet, you know, he's done all this. How do you explain that where you're saying he's terrible and he's reeled off all these wins against the best of the best, including yourself?
COLBY COVINGTON: Well, you know, Kevin, I'm not being derisive calling him [? Marty. ?] He chose to put on his college admissions ticket going to school in Nebraska because he was born in Dallas. He's not even Nigerian. He's never been in Nigeria. I mean, unless there's a Nigerian Texas, then I guess you can call him Nigerian. Because, I don't know, is there a Nigerian Texas? But he put on his college admissions to be called Marty. So I'm just calling him what he wants to be called.
If you go look at all his tournament wrestling brackets in college, Marty Usman was his name. So, we know his name is Marty [? Juiceman ?] now he's the CEO of EPO. And, you know, there's a reason there's a chemical imbalance. You can see the pimples all over his back, all over his face, you know. Dude, you're a 36-year-old man. You think you're going to have a chemical imbalance in your age? Like you're going through puberty in your mid 30s? So, you know, I do think he sucks though. I think he's a cheater. I would have finished him in that first fight if he didn't get a fake timeout. But it's OK. That's in the past. Next weekend.
KEVIN IOLE: But he beat you. He beat you if he sucks. Come on, Colby.
COLBY COVINGTON: Beat me? Oh, you think that's beating me by cheating? Oh, OK. Yeah. That's, you know, that's how a real Democrat would think. They've got to cheat. They've got to rig the elections to win. They can't beat us fair and square.
KEVIN IOLE: All right. You know, coming-- coming off that fight strategically, you know, you know what worked, you know what didn't work. Do you change things up or do you think the approach you took the last time just-- you know, just keep going with that. And that if you don't have the bad breaks you described earlier, that you'll win?
COLBY COVINGTON: Yeah. I changed everything up. I left my old training camp that I was at when-- when I fought him. I hired and enlisted new training partners, new coaches. And I have a whole new program around me, you know. Before I was at a big gym and-- and, you know, that was taken away from my development as a fighter. Now I have a team that's fully focused on me, you know. I'm at Colby Covington Incorporated and, you know, we're just focused on my progress and, you know, my evolution as a fighter every single day. We don't care about other fighters. All we care about is me and my success and growing together as a team.
And, you know, I have great coaches now, Daniel Lopez, Daniel Valverde, Jonathan Lopez, and my striking coach Cesar [? Carneiro. ?] So I have a completely different game plan this time. And next weekend, the world's going to see.
I can't give you a spoiler. Usually I'm the king of spoilers and I like to tell people how the fight is going to go. But then, you know, it's like when you watch a movie. You watch the beginning of the movie, you don't just get to know the ending of the movie. You got to tune in live on pay-per-view. Make sure you get your cable checked, your cable providers checked. Get the pay-per-view live on-- pay per view, Madison Square Garden. I will end Marty [? Juiceman. ?]
KEVIN IOLE: You know, I know you like to give out the ending of movies. Do me a favor, because I'm a big James Bond fan. I haven't seen the most recent James Bond, so don't be putting anything out about that, please. Until I watch it anyways.
COLBY COVINGTON: OK, I won't spoil James Bond for you.
KEVIN IOLE: You are the man. You know, not to talk about your old team, but, you know, I happen to turn on the TV the other day and I see pro-wrestling on there. And I know you dabbled in pro-wrestling a little bit. And members of your old team are showing up on wrestling. What do you take it, Dan Lambert and the rest of the gang's performance on AEW?
COLBY COVINGTON: To be honest, I haven't paid attention at all to that, you know. If I'm paying attention to anything, I pay attention to the big dogs, you know. I'm paying attention to the WWE. You know, Vince McMahon, what he's doing over there. My good friend Bobby Lashley, he's been killing it over there. I'm so-- just so excited for him, man. His future, you know, he had a bad run of events over at Saudi Arabia recently. But, you know, he's a-- he's a comeback kid and he's not going to be held down. He will come back stronger than ever. And I think, eventually, he will be the Universal Champion of the WWE.
KEVIN IOLE: Now we're going to see if we get along good because, you know, my good buddy in the WWE. WWE legend or Hall of Famer The Iron Sheik. If you like the Iron Sheik, I think we have a chance to get along. If you-- if you're down on the Iron Sheik, I'm rooting for Usman in this next fight. So give me your-- give me the answer. Iron Sheik, yes or no?
COLBY COVINGTON: Yes. Iron Sheik's a legend.
KEVIN IOLE: All right. Now-- now-- now we can talk. We have a way to go here, if you like the Iron Sheik. Viva Iron Sheik. Colby, you know, I want to ask you this. You have been relatively inactive for one of the top fighters. You know, a lot of people have been, you know, anxious to see you in the ring. Why-- why have you only fought one time, you know, in, basically, in two years? I mean, you know, A, money you're not making and, B, just keeping your name out there and keeping sharp. Why-- why have you been so inactive?
COLBY COVINGTON: Well, I can tell you the facts behind that and you can go as Dana White and the face that runs the place at the UFC, you know. The chief business officer Hunter Campbell. I begged to fight, man. We were supposed to fight, you know, Street Judas Masvidal. You know, I was waiting for eight months to fight him. We were going to do the Ultimate Fighter. We were gonna do a pay-per-view. We were going to headline American Airlines Arena down in Miami because we're down here in Miami and we have this grudge match. He refused to fight me. And then all of a sudden, he wants to go fight, you know, Marty Juiceman and rematch him, you know. When he already got destroyed and smoked on the scorecards.
So, you know, guys have been refusing to fight me, Kevin, plain and simple. I-- I love to fight. That's the only thing that truly gives me happiness in life is when I'm in the Octagon and I'm fighting. So, you know, I've been running to make all these big fights the last couple of years. No one wants to fight. You know, I've been begging to rematch Usman. He doesn't want to fight. He was looking for any reason not to fight me. He wants to fight lightweights, you know. His last three fights were weights. He doesn't want to fight a real welterweight myself.
So, you know, here I am. You know, all that doesn't matter anymore. All that matters is next weekend when I get my hands on unfinished business, round two with Marty Juiceman. I'm going to get my hand raised. I'm going to show the world who the greatest fighter of all time is and who the number one pound for pound fighter in the UFC is.
KEVIN IOLE: Yeah. That's interesting. I mean, right now, a lot of people will have him rated number one pound for pound. You know, do you think that's a fair rating given the wins he has?
COLBY COVINGTON: No. I don't feel like that's a fair rating. How do you beat a guy in Street Judas Masvidal? The guy has 20 losses, Kevin. Look at the facts. We got to go by facts these days. We can't go by anything else but-- but truth. You can't go by lies or-- or hype or manipulation. The guy he just beat back to back has 20 losses. The guy's a journeyman. He's not even a top tier fighter. So, you know, I don't think beating a guy like that deserves of a number one pound for pound rating. But, hey, it just makes the storyline that much better. What are the writers, what are the journalists going to write about when I beat him next weekend? Will I get that number one pound for pound rating?
KEVIN IOLE: You might. Yeah. I think if you beat him, that may happen, very well may happen. So.
COLBY COVINGTON: Well, I look forward to it.
KEVIN IOLE: That'll be there. Let's finish it with this then. I appreciate your time. If you do get past Kamaru and win the championship, you know, you're going to end a really long winning streak that he had. How do you see yourself defending it? I know you look and you say you don't think there's much depth of talent in the welterweight division. Would you expect to have to do it a third time with him given the fact that, you know, you would each, at that point, each have one win? Or would you-- do you have somebody in mind that you'll call out after the fight is over?
COLBY COVINGTON: You know, I'm not going to be a coward like Marty and run from this rematch. He should have fought me and rematched me right away. The first time we fought, there was unfinished business. The people, the fans saw for themselves how close that fight was. And that fight needed to be run back right away. But he refused it. You know, he ran away. He didn't want a rematch. But you know what, I'm not going to be a coward. I'm going to give the people what they want. If they want this trilogy with me and Marty, you know, I'll do it right away. But the thing is, Kevin, after I finish him next weekend, he's not going to want to come back. It's going to be a life changing defeat. He's not going to be wanting to come back for the trilogy. He's probably going to retire. So the only fight that makes sense is that Louisiana swamp trash Dustin [? Sorrier. ?] He can bring his little Jezebel of his wife, his little prop for a kid. I'm going to end him.
KEVIN IOLE: Are you stealing Conor McGregor's lines now?
COLBY COVINGTON: No. I don't even-- why would I pay attention to Conor, you know? I'm focused on my own business and my own lane. But, you know, Dustin, if you go back and look at the media, he said it's on site with me. So I'm just-- I'm just trying to get people on the fence what they want. Dustin said it's on site, OK, name the site and let's do it.
KEVIN IOLE: There we go. Well, we may see a couple of really big fights because Dustin has a lightweight championship fight in December. If he wins that, we may have a champion versus champion fight. Colby, I appreciate you, brother. Good luck to you and we will see you in New York.
COLBY COVINGTON: Thanks, my man. Have a great day. See you in New York.
KEVIN IOLE: You too. Be well.