“Chaos” has thrice fought for the UFC welterweight title, and while he’s fallen short on each occasion — including in his most recent attempt at UFC 296. where he lost a clear-cut decision to champion Leon Edwards — he’s remained one of the most talked-about fighters in his division. He found himself butting heads with Pimblett ahead of the Edwards fight after Pimblett said he hoped his fellow Englishman would send Covington “into the shadow realm” due to Covington insulting Edwards’ deceased father.
Pimblett defeated Tony Ferguson on that same card to improve to 5-0 in the UFC, but Covington doesn’t see him ever being a player at 155 pounds.
“I don’t really think about it, but obviously my first reaction to it now is just laughing because all those people, there’s no substance,” Covington said on the PBD Podcast when asked to react to comments from his rivals. “They’re talking the talk, they’re not going to walk the walk.
“Paddy … if he didn’t have a bowl cut and an accent, nobody would care about Paddy. That’s the only reason they like him, is a bowl cut and an accent. He’s not even a good fighter. He’ll never be a top-30 fighter. The closest he’ll ever get to fighting for a world title is if he got on his knees and came and sniffed my jockstrap.”
Another lightweight closer to No. 1 contender status also panned Covington’s UFC 296 performance, former Bellator star Michael Chandler. “Iron” has been patiently waiting on the sidelines for a booking against Conor McGregor, so he had plenty of time to criticize Covington.
Not that Covington seems particularly bothered by it.
“Michael Chandler?” Covington said. “Who? The guy was getting knocked out in Bellator, the guy’s a complete scrub. What’s his UFC record? Like, 1-4? We’re talking about that. My win percentage in the UFC is over, like, 90 percent, I’m an all-time great in this division. I’ve done things in this division that people aren’t ever going to do.
“I’m the only fighter to ever go to The White House and hang out with a sitting president. I’m the only one to ever get the first family front row. I’m the only one to ever have a president out there supporting me and dapping me up before I walk in the octagon, so he can keep talking all he wants but there’s no substance. Another guy that’s just all talk and no walk.”
Given Covington’s long history of volatile feuds, the fighter was asked if there is anyone in the MMA community he considers to be a friend. He replied that friendship is not a priority in his line of work.
“In the fighting world, I don’t have friends because I always said I’m not here to make friends, I’m here to make money,” Covington said. “That’s what matters to me is financially changing my future and my family’s future. I’ve been able to do things for my family, get them things that they would have never been able to get otherwise, so everybody’s jealous of me. They hate the way I do business, but they’re not making the checks I’m making. They’re making basic pay and they’ll be broke in a couple of years. I’m set for life.”