All publicity is good publicity, they say. There is no phrase more apt when discussing the welterweight contender, Colby ‘Chaos’ Covington.
The American Top Team fighter has been relentless in his pursuit to make a name for himself in the UFC and earn a title challenge against current champ, Tyron Woodley. In the space of less than a month, he has insulted the entire nation of Brazil in his post-fight interview in Sao Paulo by labelling them filthy animals, released a tirade of abuse on former roommate Jon Jones, confirmed he will press charges against former heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum for assault which included being struck with a boomerang in Sydney and continually been outspoken in his public outbursts against Woodley.
While he had initially come in for criticism as many felt this outspoken demeanour was a forced gimmick aimed at generating media attention, this approach seems to be working for him.
It is difficult to quantify just how successful this has been for Covington, yet there are several key indicators which help.
He has appeared on the MMA Hour in three of the last five shows, MMA media outlets have been inundated with updates on the American fighter and perhaps most tellingly, the champ has been forced to speak out on his potential challenger repeatedly.
There now appears to be three camps when it comes to Colby Covington.
Those who have bought into his character as a ‘heel’ and want to see him come to justice for the disrespect he has shown, those who see through this façade, think it’s insulting to the sport and want him to be defeated, and those who enjoy the brash, outspoken persona and want to see his profile continue to rise.
Very different opinions, yet all involve seeing Covington back in the octagon.
If Colby does manage to talk his way into a title fight, then this will be a huge achievement. As the UFC president, Dana White, has already verbally agreed to grant the winner of the December 16 bout between Rafael Dos Anjos and Robbie Lawler the number one shot at Woodley. Although Dana White has been known to renegade on his word, we must accept for now that this is the most likely number one contender.
So where does this leave Colby?
He will likely continue to call on the UFC to grant him a title shot which he feels he deserves after beating Demian Maia.
Ironically, he needs look no further than his recently defeated opponent when gauging how difficult it can be to be presented with an opportunity to fight for the UFC gold.
Maia went on a seven-fight tear through the division defeating the likes of Gunnar Nelson, Carlos Condit, Neil Magny and Jorge Masvidal before being granted his title shot.
A more realistic scenario for Colby would be to take another fight in the meantime. And who better than the number one contender, Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson.
A victory here would guarantee Colby a title shot. The build-up would be fascinating.
Thompson is the antithesis of all that Colby has come to stand for. He is the head kids instructor at his family’s karate academy and is known for the respect he shows towards fans, trainers and opponents alike.
Stylistically, this would be an interesting match-up also. Covington, the high-pressure wrestler, meeting the calm, controlled striker, Thompson. In terms of a timeline for the potential fight, both men last took to the octagon within a week of each so should be ready to fight at a similar date.
The trash talk game of Covington is undoubtedly very strong, but now the time has come for him to substantiate his claims that he is the top 170-pounder.
By taking a fight with Wonderboy Thompson, it would be impossible for any welterweight to look past Chaos.
Cathal Geeney, Pundit Arena
Read More About: 170lbs, Carlos Condit, chaos, colby covington, demain maia, Fabricio Werdum, Gunnar Nelson, Jon Jones, jorge masvidal, neil magny, stephen thompson, the chosen one, tyron woodley, UFC, welterweight, wonderboy