Colby Covington explains how DUI and quitting drinking saved his life and fighting career

By Cole Shelton - December 4, 2023

Colby Covington says getting a DUI while he was at college in Iowa helped save his life and turn him into the fighter he is today.

Colby Covington

Covington began his college career at Iowa Central Community College and won the 2007 165lb national junior college wrestling title as a true freshman with a 34–0 record. After one year there, Covington transferred to Iowa but just before school started, he was arrested for eluding police and driving while intoxicated, as he blew three times over the legal limit.

After being arrested for drunk driving, Colby Covington was suspended from the team, and ‘Chaos’ eventually transferred to Oregon State. Being arrested was something Covington says he’s ashamed of, but he believes without that happening he may not be alive.

“It was tough to process because I was so young and not mature at the time. 19-year-old kid, not even grown up, just a little kid, not making good decisions,” Colby Covington said to ESPN. “It was tough, it was very hard because here I was, my whole life all I wanted to do was wrestle for Iowa wrestling under Dan Gable and Tom Brands and now I’m a failure to those guys. They lost hope on me, they gave up on me, essentially. They didn’t think I could deserve a second chance…

“That’s what needed to happen for me to be on the journey I am on today. It ended up being a blessing in disguise because I went back home to Oregon State University, I got back to my roots, and I got back to my family. I wasn’t around the best coaches or best team but I had my family and friends around me and that was more important than having famed coaches and famed wrestling room around me. I’m happy it happened, I’m happy the journey turned out the way it did because I know I wouldn’t be here today fighting for a UFC title again if it didn’t happen,” Covington continued.

After being suspended by Iowa, Colby Covington says he quit drinking. According to Covington, he says after that mistake, he realized his full focus needed to be on wrestling and then fighting, which is what he has still kept to this day.

“Having to face massive failure, that was worse than losing a wrestling match. I thought I lost my life, I thought it was over. No one is going to ever let me wrestle. I’m not going to get an opportunity ever again because of a disappointing night where I made a mistake,” Covington added. “I’m very thankful it happened because it lit a fuel in my soul that really let me dig deep and find out who I truly was and what I truly wanted. After that day I vowed I wouldn’t drink again, I would commend myself to being the best wrestler and then obviously after I was done with wrestling, being the best fighter I could be. I wouldn’t be here today without that situation, I know it.”

Colby Covington is set to headline UFC 296 against Leon Edwards for the welterweight title.

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


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