EXCLUSIVE | Colby Covington explains why UFC will never be as big as NFL, NBA

Colby Covington, NFL, NBA, UFC

Colby Covington is not very happy with the UFC right now. In fact, the former UFC interim welterweight champion is so disgruntled that he recently dared the promotion to release him from his contract so he can take his services elsewhere.

Some of Covington’s recent comments about potentially leaving the UFC, however, were misconstrued, as some members of the MMA community took his words to mean that he wanted to fight Rory MacDonald in Bellator. He reminds that this isn’t actually what he said.

“I never said I’d go fight Rory in Bellator, I just said there’s some other fights out there and other organizations where there are big fights and I can go get them,” he said on episode 109 of BJPENN Radio. “I never named names.”

“I wish I could talk to Bellator but I can’t do that. I’m under UFC contract, I would never breach my contract,” he added. “I’m the true professional. I did everything UFC asked, always f***ing made weight, always on time at their events, flew all over the world, went to Australia, their show, sold it. Went to Singapore, went to Brazil, went to wherever they wanted me to go. I did everything, I’m an ultra-professional. And as a professional I wouldn’t breach my contract.

“I’m not allowed to talk to other promoters about fights because I’m in UFC contract. So, that’s what I’m saying to the UFC, like, come on motherf***ers, you guys think you’re so tough then let’s see how tough you are. Release me man, I don’t need you guys. If you guys think you’re so tough and try to think that I’m not worth anything and you don’t need me then release me. Let’s see it man, let’s see how f***ing big your balls are.”

Because the UFC is still viewed as the biggest MMA promotion in the world, it might surprise some fans to hear a top fighter requesting to be released from his contract. Yet Colby Covington recognizes that, all over the world, other MMA promotions are achieving major success. That, when combined with the recent errors of the UFC — like denying him a welterweight title shot — have created a tectonic shift in the MMA landscape.

“There’s a lot of opportunities out there you know, in other organizations,” Covington said. “You got good things coming together. It’s a good time for MMA because now people can realize it’s not just UFC. UFC tries to threaten you and make you think that there’s no other option, there’s nowhere else to go, they’re the end-all, they’re the biggest, baddest dudes in town, but that’s not how it is man. They consistently shoot themselves in the foot and they consistently are making their brand go down by doing this circus shit where they move a card from one city to another while they pass up the number one guy in the world for the number two guy in the world when it makes no sense.”

It is the UFC’s constant errors, Colby Covington said, that will ensure the organization never realizes the success of other major sports leagues like the NBA or the NFL.

“They wanna be legitimate like a f***ing sport, like NFL, like NBA, you can’t be legitimate when a team wins a championship and you don’t let them go to the championship game,” he said. “I don’t give a f**k. If you’re in the NBA, you win the Eastern Conference Championship and you’re LeBron and the Cavaliers, you’re going to the motherf***ing ‘ship. It doesn’t matter if David Stern doesn’t like you, you’re going to go to the championship. This isn’t a sport no more, it’s a joke, it’s a circus, it’s being run by a bunch of bozos. You got Uncle Fester (Dana White) up there, up top in his power position and it’s just a complete joke.

“If this is legitimate sport when you win the conference championship you go to the championship. It doesn’t matter if the promoter hates the f***ing coach or hates the manager.”

What do you think of these comments from Colby Covington? Do you think the UFC can realize the same popularity as the NFL and NBA?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 1/29/2019.