Colby Covington

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Colby Covington
BornColby Ray Covington[1]
(1988-02-22) February 22, 1988 (age 32)
Clovis, California, U.S.
Height5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)[2]
Weight170 lb (77 kg; 12 st 2 lb)
Reach72 in (183 cm)[3]
Fighting out ofFort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.
  1. 2 Welterweight (UFC)
WrestlingNCAA Division I Wrestling[5]
Years active2012–present
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout2
By submission5
By decision8
By knockout1
By submission1
UniversityOregon State University
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Colby Ray Covington (/ˈkʌvɪŋtən/ KUV-ing-tən; born February 22, 1988) is an American mixed martial artist. He is a former interim UFC Welterweight Champion. As of December 14, 2019, he is #2 in the UFC welterweight rankings.[6]

Early life[edit]

Covington was born in Clovis, California on February 22, 1988. His parents are Noelle and Brad Covington, and he has two sisters named Candace and Callie. The family moved from California to Oregon when he was eight years old.[7] His father was a wrestler during his time at the Oregon Institute of Technology and Southern Oregon University.[8]

Wrestling career[edit]

As a wrestler at Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon, Covington lettered all four years and won the 171 lb state championship as a senior. He committed to Arizona State University but his test scores were not up to par, so he went to Iowa Central Community College, where he won the 165 lb national junior college wrestling title as a true freshman with a 34–0 record.[9] His roommate, at the time, was future UFC champion Jon Jones.[10]

Following his championship season at Iowa Central, Covington transferred to the noted wrestling program at the University of Iowa. On August 10, 2007, he was arrested for eluding police and driving under the influence, having registered a BAC of 0.255, over three times the legal limit of 0.08.[11] He later said, "That was a real all-time low in my life, something I really wish I could take back." Due to his arrest, Covington was suspended from the Hawkeyes for a year, and saw limited time the next season.[9] He looked for a fresh start, and former Hawkeyes coach Jim Zalesky convinced Covington to transfer to Oregon State University.[9][7]

During his time at OSU, Covington qualified for the NCAA Tournament as a junior and as a senior, placing fifth as a senior and earning All-American honors. He also was a two-time Pac-10 Conference champion at 174-pounds. He was cited for fourth-degree assault stemming from an incident on May 23, 2010 wherein he was accused of punching two men after a verbal altercation.[11] The Benton County District Attorney's Office did not pursue charges against Covington over the incident.[12]

Covington graduated with a bachelor's degree in Sociology in 2011.[13]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Early career[edit]

In 2011, American Top Team owner Dan Lambert was looking to boost his gym's wrestling training and Covington was recruited to help do so. Shortly after, Covington began pursuing a professional mixed martial arts (MMA) career and moved to South Florida to train full-time at American Top Team.[14] He compiled a record of 5–0 before signing with the UFC in the summer of 2014.[15]

Ultimate Fighting Championship (2014–present)[edit]

Covington made his promotional debut against Anying Wang on August 23, 2014 at UFC Fight Night 48.[15] He won the fight by TKO via punches in the closing seconds of the first round.[16]

Covington fought Wagner Silva on November 8, 2014 at UFC Fight Night 56.[17] He won the fight via submission in the third round.[18]

Covington next faced Mike Pyle on May 23, 2015 at UFC 187, replacing an injured Sean Spencer.[19] He won the fight via unanimous decision.[20]

Covington faced Warlley Alves on December 12, 2015 at UFC 194.[21] He lost the fight via submission in the first round.[22][23]

Covington was expected to compete against Alex Garcia on June 18, 2016 at UFC Fight Night 89.[24] However, Garcia was pulled from the fight on June 10 for undisclosed reasons and replaced by promotional newcomer Jonathan Meunier.[25] Covington won the fight via submission in the third round.[26]

Covington next faced promotional newcomer Max Griffin on August 20, 2016 at UFC 202.[27] He won the fight via TKO in the third round.[28]

Covington's next bout was against Bryan Barberena on December 17, 2016 at UFC on Fox 22.[29] He won the fight via unanimous decision.[30]

Covington faced Dong Hyun Kim on June 17, 2017 at UFC Fight Night 111.[31] He won the fight via unanimous decision.[32]

As the final fight of his prevailing contract, Covington fought Demian Maia on October 28, 2017 at UFC Fight Night 119.[33][34] He won the fight via unanimous decision.[35]

Covington fought Rafael dos Anjos on June 9, 2018 at UFC 225 for the Interim UFC Welterweight Championship.[36] He won the fight via unanimous decision.[37]

Covington was briefly linked to a title unification bout with the then champion Tyron Woodley on September 8, 2018 at UFC 228.[38] However, Covington was unable to compete on that date due to recent nasal surgery. As a result, UFC officials turned their attention to arranging a bout between Woodley and Darren Till to fill the headlining spot. In turn, promotional officials indicated on July 24 that Covington would be stripped of the Interim UFC Welterweight Championship, once the bout between Woodley and Till took place.[39][40]

Covington returned to face Robbie Lawler in the main event of UFC on ESPN 5 on August 3, 2019.[41] He won the fight via a lopsided unanimous decision, setting a record for the most strikes thrown in a UFC bout with 541 strikes.[42]

Covington faced Kamaru Usman for the UFC Welterweight Championship on December 14, 2019 at UFC 245.[43] Covington sustained a left mandibular fracture as a result of a strike by Usman in the third round and was knocked down twice in the fifth round. The second knockdown was followed by a barrage of strikes by Usman with Covington covering up on the ground and subsequent stoppage by referee Marc Goddard resulting in technical knockout win for Usman.[44] This fight earned him his first post fight bonus in the UFC for Fight of the Night.[45] Going into the final round, one judge had Covington winning 39–37, another had it tied at 38-38, and the other had it 39–37 in favor of Usman.[46]

After a long-lasting, public feud and trash talking between Covington and other American Top Team members – most notably Dustin Poirier, Jorge Masvidal and Joanna Jędrzejczyk – Covington eventually parted ways with his first mixed martial arts gym in May 2020.[4]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Impact Wrestling (2017)[edit]

Covington, along with other American Top Team members, made multiple appearances in Impact Wrestling, where they aligned themselves with Lashley and King Mo. In 2017, they defeated the team of Moose and Stephan Bonnar at Bound for Glory. In the buildup to the event, he hired Stevie Richards to be his strength and conditioning coach.[42]

WrestlePro (2018)[edit]

In February 2018, Covington appeared at a WrestlePro event and defeated TyQuil Woodley, a parody character of Tyron Woodley, in a match.[47]

Public image[edit]

Covington is an outspoken supporter of the Republican Party and President Donald Trump. After winning the Interim UFC Welterweight Championship, he stated he wanted to visit Trump at the White House to present him with the title,[48] which he did on August 2, 2018.[49]

He has described himself as the "super villain" of the UFC and will often try to upset people with brazen trash talking. Following his bout with Demian Maia in 2017, he called Brazil a "dump" and referred to the Brazilian crowd as "filthy animals" in the post-fight interview.[50] In an interview with Candace Owens, Covington said that his "act" was a response to the UFC threatening to cut him before the Maia fight and stated the "Filthy Animals" speech "saved his career."[51] Covington further embraced his villain status before his 2019 main event encounter with Robbie Lawler at UFC on ESPN 5. He used the WWE entrance theme of professional wrestler Kurt Angle—which is regularly punctuated with crowd chants of "You suck!"—as his entrance music; Angle had given Covington permission to use the theme. With two of Trump's sons, Donald Jr. and Eric cageside for the fight,[52] the crowd performed the "You suck!" chants during Covington's entrance.[53]

Covington continued his trash-talking in the lead up to the Kamaru Usman fight at UFC 245. During a press conference, he said that Usman gave Glenn Robinson, Usman's long-time coach who died in 2018, "a heart attack from all those years you were ducking me," and that Robinson would be "watching from hell on Dec. 14."[54] After losing to Usman at UFC 245, Covington criticized the referee of the bout, Marc Goddard. He called Goddard and his stoppage "fake", and said Goddard had unfairly given Usman breaks during the fight due to incorrect refereeing calls.[55] Covington said that Goddard is anti-Brexit and anti-Trump, and speculated that Goddard's political views influenced his refereeing decisions.[56]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]


  • FILA
    • FILA 77 kg No-Gi Grappling World Championship Gold (2013)[57]

Amateur wrestling[edit]

Mixed martial arts[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Professional record breakdown
17 matches 15 wins 2 losses
By knockout 2 1
By submission 5 1
By decision 8 0
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 15–2 Kamaru Usman TKO (punches) UFC 245 December 14, 2019 5 4:10 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States For the UFC Welterweight Championship. Fight of the Night.
Win 15–1 Robbie Lawler Decision (unanimous) UFC on ESPN: Covington vs. Lawler August 3, 2019 5 5:00 Newark, New Jersey, United States
Win 14–1 Rafael dos Anjos Decision (unanimous) UFC 225 June 9, 2018 5 5:00 Chicago, Illinois, United States Won the interim UFC Welterweight Championship. Later stripped of the title.
Win 13–1 Demian Maia Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Machida October 28, 2017 3 5:00 São Paulo, Brazil
Win 12–1 Dong Hyun Kim Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Holm vs. Correia June 17, 2017 3 5:00 Kallang, Singapore
Win 11–1 Bryan Barberena Decision (unanimous) UFC on Fox: VanZant vs. Waterson December 17, 2016 3 5:00 Sacramento, California, United States
Win 10–1 Max Griffin TKO (punches) UFC 202 August 20, 2016 3 2:18 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 9–1 Jonathan Meunier Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC Fight Night: MacDonald vs. Thompson June 18, 2016 3 0:54 Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Loss 8–1 Warlley Alves Submission (guillotine choke) UFC 194 December 12, 2015 1 1:26 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 8–0 Mike Pyle Decision (unanimous) UFC 187 May 23, 2015 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 7–0 Wagner Silva Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Saint Preux November 8, 2014 3 3:26 Uberlândia, Brazil
Win 6–0 Anying Wang TKO (submission to punches) UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs. Le August 23, 2014 1 4:50 Macau, SAR, China
Win 5–0 Jay Ellis Submission (arm-triangle choke) AFC 21: The Return May 16, 2014 1 2:49 Hollywood, Florida, United States
Win 4–0 Jose Caceres Decision (unanimous) CFA 12: Sampo vs. Thao October 12, 2013 3 5:00 Coral Gables, Florida, United States
Win 3–0 Jason Jackson Decision (unanimous) Fight Time 10: It's Personal June 22, 2012 3 5:00 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States
Win 2–0 David Hayes Submission (arm-triangle choke) Fight Time 9: MMA Explosion April 27, 2012 2 1:42 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States
Win 1–0 Chris Ensley Submission (knee injury) Midtown Throwdown 3 February 11, 2012 1 1:21 Eugene, Oregon, United States Welterweight debut.

NCAA record[edit]

NCAA Championships Matches
Res. Record Opponent Score Date Event
2011 NCAA Championships 5th at 174 lbs
Win 7–4 Christopher Henrich 3-2 March 17–19, 2011 2011 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships
Loss 6–4 Mack Lewnes 5–12
Win 6–3 Mike Letts 6–1
Win 5–3 Ryan Patrovich 3–2
Loss 4–3 Chris Henrich 5–7
Win 4–2 Jacob Swartz 8–2
Win 3–2 Mike Dessino MD 18–6
2010 NCAA Championships at 174 lbs
Loss 2–2 Ben Bennet Fall March 18–20, 2010 2010 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships
Loss 2–1 Mack Lewnes OT 2–4
Win 2–0 Luke Manuel OT 3–1
Win 1–0 Jim Rednick MD 10–1

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Fight Card - UFC 187 Johnson vs. Cormier". Retrieved May 31, 2015.
  3. ^ "Fight Card - UFC Fight Night Shogun vs. Saint Preux". Archived from the original on November 11, 2014. Retrieved November 8, 2014.
  4. ^ a b c Damon Martin (May 27, 2020). "Colby Covington confirms split from American Top Team after being removed from team website".
  5. ^ Norm Maves Jr. (March 17, 2010). "NCAA wrestling championships: Oregon State's ColbyD takes long road to Omaha, mostly due to inability to read". Retrieved March 17, 2010.
  6. ^ "Rankings | UFC". Retrieved December 18, 2019.
  7. ^ a b Popkin, Brad (June 15, 2015). "Covington Wants A Piece Of 'Stun Gun' Kim". Retrieved April 2, 2020.
  8. ^ "Colby Covington - Wrestling". Oregon State University Athletics. Retrieved April 2, 2020.
  9. ^ a b c "NCAA wrestling championships: Oregon State's Colby Covington takes long road to Omaha". Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  10. ^ Rondina, Steven. "Colby Covington: Jon Jones 'Threw People Through Windows' in College". Bleacher Report. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  11. ^ a b "Pac-10 wrestling champ Colby Covington cited for fourth-degree assault". Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  12. ^ Gazette-Times. "Mangrum in trouble again". Corvallis Gazette Times. Retrieved April 2, 2020.
  13. ^ "Colby Covington - 2009-10 Wrestling Roster". Retrieved November 12, 2016.
  14. ^ Jesse Scheckner (May 14, 2014). "Top MMA Prospect Colby Covington: "I'm Beyond Ready to be in the UFC"". Retrieved May 14, 2015.
  15. ^ a b Staff (July 13, 2014). "UFC Fight Night 48 in Macau builds with addition of five more fights". Retrieved July 13, 2014.
  16. ^ Ben Fowlkes (August 23, 2014). "UFC Fight Night 48 results: Colby Covington pounds out Wang Anying". Retrieved August 23, 2014.
  17. ^ "UFC Fight Night 56 in Brazil has three new additions, including Alves vs. Jouban". September 23, 2014. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved September 23, 2014.
  18. ^ Ben Fowlkes (November 8, 2014). "UFC Fight Night 56 results: Colby Covington dominates, chokes out Wagner Silva". Retrieved November 8, 2014.
  19. ^ Staff (May 2, 2015). "Colby Covington replaces Sean Spencer, meets Mike Pyle at UFC 187". Retrieved May 2, 2015.
  20. ^ Ben Fowlkes (May 23, 2015). "UFC 187 results: Colby Covington survives Mike Pyle's late rally to take decision". Retrieved May 23, 2015.
  21. ^ Staff (August 19, 2015). "Warlley Alves vs. Colby Covington booked for UFC 194". Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  22. ^ Ben Fowlkes (December 12, 2015). "UFC 194 results: Warlley Alves blasts through Colby Covington with first-round choke". Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  23. ^ "UFC 202's Colby Covington admits he fought injured last year because he 'was broke'". Bloody Elbow. August 22, 2016.
  24. ^ Staff (March 29, 2016). "Multiple fight bookings made official for UFC Fight Night 89". Retrieved March 29, 2016.
  25. ^ Marc Raimondi (June 10, 2016). "Prospect Jonathan Meunier to replace Alex Garcia vs. Colby Covington at UFC Ottawa". Retrieved June 10, 2016.
  26. ^ Ben Fowlkes (June 18, 2016). "UFC Fight Night 89 results: Colby Covington finishes Jonathan Meunier with rear-naked choke". Retrieved June 18, 2016.
  27. ^ Staff (July 21, 2016). "Max Griffin signs with UFC, slated to meet Colby Covington at UFC 202". Retrieved July 21, 2016.
  28. ^ Brent Brookhouse (August 20, 2016). "UFC 202 results: Colby Covington punishes Max Griffin on ground for third-round TKO". Retrieved August 20, 2016.
  29. ^ Staff (October 17, 2016). "Bryan Barberena and Colby Covington set to meet at December's UFC on FOX 22". Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  30. ^ Brent Brookhouse (December 17, 2016). "UFC on FOX 22 results: Colby Covington smothers Bryan Barberena to take decision win". Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  31. ^ Dann Stupp (April 6, 2017). "'Stun Gun' vs. Colby Covington added to UFC Fight Night 111 in Singapore". Retrieved April 6, 2017.
  32. ^ "UFC Fight Night 111 results: Colby Covington shuts out Dong Hyun Kim, calls for title shot". MMAjunkie. June 17, 2017. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  33. ^ Guilherme Cruz (August 22, 2017). "Demian Maia vs. Colby Covington added to UFC Fight Night 119 in Sao Paulo". Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  34. ^ Tristen Critchfield (December 9, 2019). "Colby Covington Claims 'Filthy Animals' Rant in Brazil Saved UFC Career".
  35. ^ "UFC Sao Paulo results: Colby Covington prevails against bloodied, exhausted Demian Maia". Bloody Elbow. Retrieved October 29, 2017.
  36. ^ "Rafael dos Anjos vs. Colby Covington interim title fight set for UFC 225 in Chicago – not Rio". MMAjunkie. April 6, 2018. Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  37. ^ "UFC 225 results: Brace yourself world, Colby Covington is a UFC champion". MMAjunkie. June 10, 2018. Retrieved June 10, 2018.
  38. ^ Ariel Helwani (July 19, 2018). "UFC discussing Tyron Woodley-Darren Till welterweight title bout". Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  39. ^ Mike Bohn (July 19, 2018). "Darren Till says UFC champ Tyron Woodley declined title-fight offer with Colby Covington 'out'". Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  40. ^ Shaun Al-Shatti (July 24, 2018). "Tyron Woodley vs. Darren Till slated for UFC 228". Retrieved July 24, 2018.
  41. ^ Staff (June 24, 2019). "Colby Covington vs. Robbie Lawler set for UFC on ESPN 5 main event in Newark". Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  42. ^ a b "UFC's Colby Covington gets involved in pro-wrestling angle at GFW Impact". August 17, 2017.
  43. ^ "Kamaru Usman to face Colby Covington at UFC 245". September 27, 2019. Retrieved September 27, 2019.
  44. ^ "Kamaru Usman vs. Colby Covington full fight video highlights". December 15, 2019. Retrieved December 15, 2019.
  45. ^ a b Fernando Quiles Jr. (December 15, 2019). "UFC 245 Bonuses, Live Gate, & Attendance Revealed". Retrieved December 15, 2019.
  46. ^ "UFC 245: Official scorecards from Las Vegas". MMA Junkie. December 15, 2019. Retrieved June 2, 2020.
  47. ^ "Colby Covington knocks out 'TyQuil Woodley' at pro wrestling event". February 5, 2018.
  48. ^ "Newest UFC champion rips 'Filthadelphia Eagles', invites himself to Trump White House". The Washington Times. June 10, 2018.
  49. ^ "UFC interim champ Colby Covington, Dana White visit Donald Trump at White House". MMAjunkie. August 2, 2018. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  50. ^ Melanie Dinjask (August 29, 2017). "UFC fighter Colby Covington causes outrage after comments calling Brazil 'a dump' and Sao Paulo crowd 'filthy animals'". Retrieved August 30, 2017.
  51. ^ Mckeever, Lewis (December 9, 2019). "Colby Covington says UFC was going to cut him if not for 'filfthy animals' promo". Bloody Elbow. Retrieved June 2, 2020.
  52. ^ Dawson, Alan (August 3, 2019). "UFC super villain Colby Covington beats Robbie Lawler in style with his 'family friends' Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump watching cageside". Business Insider. Retrieved August 13, 2019.
  53. ^ "Colby Covington gets reaction from Matt Hughes on post-fight jab, but Robbie Lawler passes". MMA Junkie. August 4, 2019. Retrieved June 2, 2020.
  54. ^ "Glenn Robinson's daughters to Colby Covington: Don't use our father's death to promote UFC 245". MMA Junkie. December 3, 2019. Retrieved June 2, 2020.
  55. ^ "UFC: Covington slams 'pathetic' referee Marc Goddard". South China Morning Post. February 4, 2020. Retrieved June 2, 2020.
  56. ^ "UFC News: Colby Covington says 'Anti-Trump' Marc Goddard cost him 10 to 20 Million". MMA India. Retrieved June 2, 2020.
  57. ^ Craig Sesker (June 17, 2013). "Colby Dixon Covington named Wrestler of the Week". Archived from the original on November 12, 2016. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  58. ^ "81st NCAA Wrestling Tournament 3/17/2011 to 3/19/2011 at Philadelphia" (PDF).
  61. ^ "NJCAA All Time All-American List – Wrestling" (PDF).
  62. ^ "OSAA Wrestling Championships" (PDF).
  63. ^ "MMA Junkie's 'Fight of the Month' for December: A slugfest between wrestlers". January 3, 2020.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Carlos Condit
3rd UFC Interim Welterweight Champion
June 9, 2018 – September 8, 2018