Colby Covington was born on February 22, 1988, in Clovis, California.
When he was eight, his family relocated from California to Oregon. His father competed in wrestling while attending Southern Oregon University and the Oregon Institute of Technology.
Covington earned four letters while wrestling for Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon. As a senior in 2006, he won the 171-pound state title. His test results prevented him from attending Arizona State University.
Therefore, Covington was transferred to Iowa Central Community College. As a true freshman with a 34-0 record, he won the 2007 165-pound national junior college wrestling championship. At the time, he was roommates with future UFC heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
In August 2007, Covington was detained for evading police and operating a vehicle while intoxicated. His BAC) was 0.255, which is more than three times the 0.08 legal limit. In retrospect, Covington said: “That was a real all-time low in my life, something I really wish I could take back.”
Covington wanted a new start and former Hawkeyes coach Jim Zalesky persuaded Covington to move to Oregon State University. In 2011, Covington received a bachelor’s degree in sociology.
He kept competing in wrestling and grappling after graduating, taking home the gold in the 2013 FILA Grappling no-gi world championships.
After Covington finished his college wrestling career in 2011, Dan Lambert recruited Colby Covington to American Top Team. Soon after starting his professional career, Covington amassed a 5-0 record.
Covington then decided to join the UFC in the summer of 2014. At UFC Fight Night 48, Covington faced off against Anying Wang in his first promotion debut. In the last seconds of the first round, he won the match by TKO via punches.
At UFC Fight Night 56 in November 2014, Covington faced Wagner Silva. He submitted Wagner Silva in the third round to win the bout.
At UFC 194, Covington took on Warlley Alves in December 2015. He ended up losing the match via submission in the first round.
Covington then competed against rookie Max Griffin at UFC 202 in August 2016. He won the match via TKO in the third round.
In October 2017 at UFC Fight Night 119, Covington faced Demian Maia. He won the match via unanimous decision.
At UFC 225 in June 2018, Covington faced Rafael dos Anjos for the interim UFC welterweight title. He won the match via unanimous decision.
In August 2019, Covington made a comeback to take on Robbie Lawler in the UFC on ESPN 5 main event. He won the match by a unanimous decision and landed a total of 541 blows, setting a record for the most strikes in a UFC match.
In December 2019 at UFC 245, Covington competed against Kamaru Usman for the UFC Welterweight Championship. Covington suffered from a broken jaw in the third round and was eventually eliminated via technical knockout in the fifth. This match earned him his first Fight of the Night bonus in the UFC.
Covington finally broke away from his initial mixed martial arts team in May 2020. This was after a public dispute and trash-talking between him and other American Top Team members – most notably Dustin Poirier, Jorge Masvidal, and Joanna Jędrzejczyk.
In September 2020, Covington headlined UFC Fight Night 178 against his longtime rival Tyron Woodley. Covington completely dominated his opponent for four rounds. But when Woodley sustained a rib injury, the match was declared a technical knockout.
In November 2021 at UFC 268, Covington faced Kamaru Usman once again for the UFC Welterweight Championship. Covington was defeated by a unanimous decision despite the match being a close one.
In March 2022, Covington and Jorge Masvidal squared off at UFC 272. He ended up winning the match via unanimous decision.
Covington is a vocal advocate for the Republican Party and former President Donald Trump. After winning the Interim UFC Welterweight Championship, he said he wanted to meet Trump at the White House to present him with the title. He did this in August 2018 following his victory over Tyron Woodley.
Colby Covington has characterized himself as the ‘super villain’ of the UFC and will frequently attempt to irritate others with rude remarks. After his fight with Demian Maia in 2017 in São Paulo, he called Brazil a ‘dump’ and called the people there as ‘filthy animals.’ Covington stated in an interview that the ‘Filthy Animals’ speech saved his career.
Covington was reportedly attacked by Jorge Masvidal in March 2022 in front of a Miami Beach Papi Steak restaurant. Covington reportedly took two blows to the face, breaking a tooth. On the other hand, Masvidal was arrested. He was then charged with aggravated battery and criminal mischief.
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