ANAHEIM, Calif. – UFC 241 featured some of the biggest stars MMA has to offer.
And while much of the conversation Saturday night centered on names like Stipe Miocic, Daniel Cormier, Nate Diaz and Anthony Pettis, the cageside presence of one former interim champion garnered much attention from fans in the arena and around the world.
When Colby Covington walked into Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., on Saturday night sporting a Donald Trump “Make America Great Again” cap, which has become his signature, he was greeted with resounding boos. In the midst of the main-card opener between Derek Brunson and Ian Heinisch, Covington (15-1 MMA, 10-1 UFC) had fans in the arena focused on him.
After the event, UFC president Dana White said the UFC faced some difficulties by placing Covington in the crowd with other fighters on the UFC roster.
“Everybody in that section kept fighting with Colby,” White said at the post-event news conference. “So security kept coming over to me 50 times to get him out of there. And I said, ‘No, everybody needs to start acting like (expletive) professionals because I don’t have another seat in this entire building.’
“… That (expletive) game you play in kindergarten was going on over there when I went over there. So I asked those guys (to) listen to me: ‘We’ve got a big night going on here. We have a big fight. I don’t need a fight breaking out with you knuckleheads. Stop it.’”
When it comes to Covington’s next bout, White pulled no punches. He said Covington officially is next in line for a shot at Kamaru Usman’s welterweight title.
The two have long been attached through constant trash talk and even an altercation in a Las Vegas casino in March, which was captured on video.
“Yeah, (expletive) will happen by the end of the year,” White said.
In the eyes of White, fans’ dislike of Covington has its positives for the contender. He said Covington is so disliked, he has turned into a popular figure through said hatred. White took time to praise Covington’s promotion leading up to his last fight earlier this month against Robbie Lawler.
“Everything this kid did in his last fight trended off the charts,” White said. “He’s pretty unpopular, yet popular.”
Covington, 31, has won seven fights in a row. The American Top Team product is riding back-to-back wins against former champions Robbie Lawler and Rafael Dos Anjos. “Chaos” briefly held the UFC interim welterweight championship for defeating Dos Anjos, but was stripped after he was unable to make a quick turnaround against champion Tyron Woodley in late 2018.
Usman (15-1 MMA, 10-0 UFC) earned the UFC title against Woodley in the co-main event of UFC 235 in March. The Nigerian went all five rounds with the then-champion and earned the unanimous decision nod. The TUF 21 winner also holds wins over Dos Anjos, Demian Maia, and Emil Meek among, others.
UFC 241 took place Saturday at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Dana White explains crowd issues with Colby Covington at UFC 241, says fight with Kamaru Usman is next