Colby Covington did something nice for someone

One of the most vilified fighters in the UFC, Colby Covington is getting praises from a UFC newcomer.

By: Milan Ordoñez | 1 week ago
Colby Covington did something nice for someone
Colby Covington weighs in for UFC 268. IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

It’s easy to see the hatred towards Colby Covington. “Chaos,” after all, built himself a reputation as one of the sport’s biggest heels, all supposedly because his career was once left hanging in the balance. 

So it’s quite rare to see genuine praises for the former interim welterweight champion. And that’s what UFC newcomer Themba Gorimbo did after his successful debut on Saturday. 

Gorimbo praises ‘great guy’ Colby Covington

The 32-year-old Gorimbo defeated veteran Takashi Sato via decision in the opener of the ESPN+ prelims of UFC Vegas 73. His road to the Octagon was a bumpy one, having financially struggled through a good part of his fighting career. 

As the South Africa-based fighter told the media during the post-fight scrum, he had a mere $7 to his name when he arrived in the United States to train at the Miami-based MMA Masters. 

“I’ve been broke. I came to America seven weeks ago without money. I only had enough money to fly, get to the airport to the gym, stayed at the gym, and then a friend sent me $200,” he said (H/T MMA Fighting).

“It’s been a roller coaster. I didn’t have money, if you look at my bank account there’s $7 right now. In my bank account, there’s $7, and I have to enjoy this. 

“I don’t know how much I’m getting paid. All I’ve been focused on for this fight was to get the win. The win was the most important thing, the money is the byproduct of getting the win.”

Gorimbo can have little more breathing room with his win bonus on Saturday, but during the scrum, he also gave props to Colby Covington. 

“Colby Covington, he’s such a great guy. Sometimes, Colby Covington would [bring me food] at the gym. And people say what they want about him, but that guy is a great man. You have to know him to really know him, just like me.

“At the end of the day, it’s business. I’m going all the way to the belt with the team that I have right now.”

Other praises for Colby Covington

Gorimbo isn’t the first fighter to say something positive about Covington. UFC flyweight Priscila Cachoeira described Colby as a “sweetheart” who would check up on her about her training. 

“Colby is an excellent friend, he’s always texting me. ‘How are you? Disciplined? How is the diet going?’ All of his coaches are Brazilian, like me. All that (the trash talk) is business. 

“As a person, he is a sweetheart. A helpful guy, always willing to help. He’s going to be there with me. He’s going to add positive energy. We communicate by just looking at each other. I’m sure he’s going to win that belt and pretty soon I will, too.”  

Criticisms from fighters who’ve known Colby Covington long enough

On the flipside, those who’ve known Covington long enough don’t have very flattering words for him. 

Heavyweight champion Jon Jones, who was a roommate of Covington’s in college, had this to say. Speaking based on his own transgressions, “Bones” described the controversial welterweight fighter as a “rotten person.” 

“Colby’s a habitual liar, at the end of the day. He really is. He told the fans that we lived together for two years. We lived together for one semester,” Jones said during the UFC 247 press conference in 2019.  

“I’ve made a lot of mistakes and a lot of people don’t consider me to be a good person. Coming from me, Colby’s a really bad person. He really, really is. There’s no coincidence that Tyron Woodley got to know him and hated him. Masvidal got to know him and hates him. I got to live with him, and I really don’t like him. 

“If any of you guys got to know him, he really is a rotten person. I think the MMA community is gonna start to see it over the years.” 

Ben Askren, who knows Colby Covington through the wrestling community, said a similar statement

“Colby’s a terrible person. I’ve been telling the outside world this for many years. I am in the wrestling community. 

“The wrestling community is tight knit. We know who sucks and doesn’t suck. Here’s the deal. Everywhere Colby’s been, nobody likes him. They don’t like him. No good reviews.”

What’s next for Colby Covington?

After making weight and showing up as a back-up for Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman at UFC 286 in March, Colby Covington was awarded the next title shot at 170 pounds. The UFC, however, has yet to confirm the booking, but he is expecting it to take place around August or September

Covington (17-3) hasn’t fought since March 2022, in his grudge match against Jorge Masvidal. He won via decision. 

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About the author
Milan Ordoñez
Milan Ordoñez

Milan Ordoñez has been covering combat sports since 2012 and has been part of the Bloody Elbow staff since 2016. He’s also competed in amateur mixed martial arts and submission grappling tournaments.

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