Before he was ruining important plot points in popular films online and pissing off the entire nation of Brazil, UFC welterweight Colby Covington seemed like a genuinely respectful guy.
The famously controversial American star is currently right in the title-mix at 170lbs – despite the fact that it is Kamaru Usman who will be challenging for the belt on Saturday night.
But even still, his six-fight win-streak has been quite impressive. Beating the likes of Rafael dos Anjos and Demian Maia with his smothering pressure-fighting, there are few who can dispute what this man is capable of inside the octagon.
With that being said, Covington seemed to slip into his role as a ‘heel’ or a villain within the UFC about a year or two ago – rubbing quite a lot of people up the wrong way in the process.
So without further ado, we’re going to take a look at some of Colby’s nicest moments on social media.
@ThiagoAlvesATT happy birthday brother.. May this year be the best one yet!
— Colby Covington (@ColbyCovMMA) October 4, 2012
His warm words to Brazilian Thiago Alves come before some kind words for a nation he would later describe as a ‘dump’ full of ‘filthy animals’.
— Colby Covington (@ColbyCovMMA) October 17, 2014
Oh, how times have changed.
Tyron Woodley, a former training partner of Colby’s, was the next in the crosshairs of Covington’s praise – long before he rechristened him ‘Tyquil’.
— Colby Covington (@ColbyCovMMA) June 14, 2014
Some lovely words for the Irish are up next following Conor McGregor’s interim-title winning performance against Chad Mendes at UFC 189.
Unbelievable night of fights! Congrats to the Irish #ufc189
— Colby Covington (@ColbyCovMMA) July 12, 2015
That one, in particular, is funny – coming after a promise to former UFC star Cathal Pendred that he would ‘bury him like the British did the Irish’.
That being said, he seemed to be on Team McGregor on August 26 for the Mayweather fight.
Rooting for mcgregor but think mayweather gets close decision. Who you got?
— Colby Covington (@ColbyCovMMA) August 20, 2017
Legendary former-champion Robbie Lawler and Woodley again are up next as Chaos wishes his gym-mates the best of luck ahead of their fights back in 2013.
— Colby Covington (@ColbyCovMMA) November 16, 2013
Legendary UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones was actually roommates with Covington in college and while their relationship has turned completely sour in the time since, back in the day, Colby took the time to wish him and his then-opponent Chael Sonnen luck ahead of their clash at UFC 159.
— Colby Covington (@ColbyCovMMA) April 27, 2013
We don’t even know what to say about this one, but we’re assuming that Colby is the guy on the left.
— Colby Covington (@ColbyCovMMA) November 21, 2014
Some more love for T-Wood.
— Colby Covington (@ColbyCovMMA) June 7, 2014
Love that later turned sour, though.
You see virgins, this is where following me and getting the spoiler that Tyquil Woodley's @TWooodley a nutless, delusional, two faced dirtbag months ago pays off and saves you all the cringe of the virtual temper tantrum he's throwing right now. #NerdBash2018
— Colby Covington (@ColbyCovMMA) February 8, 2018
Some support for Nick Diaz and his battle against the Nevada State Athletic Commission back in 2015.
Damn, the nsac did nick Diaz dirty! That is some BS!
— Colby Covington (@ColbyCovMMA) September 15, 2015
You can imagine that modern-day Colby would have voiced his frustrations with former UFC 170lb-r Kelvin Gastelum’s weight-issues in a more vicious and vulgar fashion.
It's inexcusable for professionals to miss weight. It's your job and what you get payed to do! Don't be scared and cut so much #moveup
— Colby Covington (@ColbyCovMMA) November 11, 2016
kelvin gastelum . I can understand maybe once but when it happens over and over that's a joke.
— Colby Covington (@ColbyCovMMA) November 11, 2016
Pretty damn respectful all the same.
For contrast: His thoughts on UFC 234 earlier this month.
Who cares if @RobWhittakermma's intestine is stuck in his abdominal muscle and that @KelvinGastelum is a vile, disgusting leper. Uncle @DanaWhite is giving you guys a [email protected]!k'n opportunity, You gotta answer the call!!! #ufc234
— Colby Covington (@ColbyCovMMA) February 9, 2019
It was in and around the early months of 2017 when Colby started his relentless assault on the former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos – a skirmish that seemingly planted the seed in his mind that later blossomed into the persona we all know today.
Of course, it wasn’t always that way.
gotta go dos anjos. He has looked like a man on a mission lately. Who you got?
— Colby Covington (@ColbyCovMMA) July 8, 2016
But eventually, things got nasty.
— Colby Covington (@ColbyCovMMA) March 16, 2017
— Colby Covington (@ColbyCovMMA) March 15, 2017
@RdosAnjosMMA Only wants hand picked CANS, a Stann interview saying he's "BACK", a failed title shot, & a pension check signed by Bellator
— Colby Covington (@ColbyCovMMA) March 14, 2017
— Colby Covington (@ColbyCovMMA) March 19, 2017
We all know the story from there on.
While Colby is perhaps the most dramatically divisive fighter on the roster, those who followed him during his original rise through the welterweight ranks can at least call back to the days when he wasn’t spoiling popular films and offending entire nations.
Seasonal greetings from the nicest guy at 170lbs.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays everyone. pic.twitter.com/UAhzMYbJU6
— Colby Covington (@ColbyCovMMA) December 25, 2014