UFC welterweight Colby “Chaos” Covington spoke with Bloody Elbow about his upcoming UFC Singapore bout with the #7 Dong Hyun Kim, the judging for Maia vs. Masvidal, and his plans to move into title contention.
Following his dominant UFC on FOX 22 victory over Bryan Barberena, NCAA All American wrestler and 11-1 American Top Team welterweight Colby Covington will be taking a step up in competition as he takes on the #7 ranked Dong Hyun Kim at UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Hunt in Singapore on June 17, 2017. Before jetting off to Malaysia, Covington caught up with Bloody Elbow to talk about letting his hands go vs. Barberena, plans for the “Stun Gun” in Singapore, and whether or not he would ever fight his ATT brother Jorge Masvidal.
In your win over Bryan Barberena at UFC on FOX 22, we saw you really let your hands go. Give us an assessment of where your striking skillset is at compared to your wrestling:
“Right now, I feel 100% confident in my standup, almost as confident in my standup as my wrestling. That’s just how confident I am in it right now. I’ve worked on it for six years straight, everyday. I’ve taken a new step, and a new development in my step to being a well-rounded fighter, and being the most dangerous fighter on the feet and on the ground. As far as standup goes, I really feel like I can stand and bang, and trade with anybody in the game. I just feel like, athletically, I’m a little bit quicker than most of these guys, and they’re not going to see the punches that are coming at them.”
Traveling to Singapore for UFC Fight Night 111 on June 17, 2017:
“It’s a beautiful city. I got a bunch of friends and family coming, so I’m going to hang out until like Tuesday, and just kind of go around the city and see all of the cool sights that Singapore has to offer.
Facing your first Top-10 opponent in Dong Hyun Kim:
“I think it’s awesome. It’s exciting for me. This is where I can really show what I’m capable of. I’ve been talking a lot that I can beat anybody in the world, and that I’m ready for that step, so this is an opportunity to prove that. I’m really excited, but rankings don’t mean much to me. I don’t really feel like rankings mean anything. So, that #7 ranking doesn’t really mean anything. I feel like I’m the #1 ranking, so I’m coming to put on a good show, and I hope Dong Hyun Kim is the best he’s ever been on that night so I can show how good I really am.”
Matching up against the “Stun Gun:”
“Stylistically, I think it’s a great matchup. He’s reckless; he comes forward, I come forward. We both have high paces, but he’s shown that he kind of starts to slow down in the 3rd round. I’ve seen it in a couple of his fights where I watched video. He kind of slowed down against [Josh] Burkman, and [Tarec] Saffiedine, and a couple of other guys. He’s kind of getting a little older in age, but take no credit away, he’s a great fighter. He’s beat the who’s who of MMA. He’s been in this game a long time, and he’s got a lot of experience on his side. So, that’s what he’s got, but he’s a reckless fighter, and I’m going to take advantage of it.”
With NCAA All American wrestling credentials to your credit, you’re known to get the takedown. Will the “Stun Gun” hit the mat?
“For sure, the “Stun Gun’s” going to hit the mat. He’s a great Judo guy; he’s got great Judo. In the wrestling world, we say the Judo guys are just the leftover wrestlers that couldn’t make the wrestling team. So, he’s definitely going to hit the mat.”
Training at American Top Team:
“Training camp is so great. Being at American Top Team, I get the best fighters and best trainers in the world. I have such a high level look. Like, Dong Hyun Kim is a great fighter, #7 in the world, but I get a look from Jorge Masvidal everyday, #5 in the world. I’ve had the looks from Robbie Lawler, from Tyron Woodley. I’ve had all these high level looks, so I see that day in and day out. There’s nothing that he’s going to bring to the table that I haven’t already seen here at American Top team.”
The judging of Jorge Masvidal vs. Demian Maia at UFC 211:
“I think Jorge should have got the nod. At the end of the 1st round, you could see when Maia got up, he was wobbled. So, that should have won the round for Jorge pretty easy. Maybe if the guy wasn’t on his back as long, he probably would have had a 10-8. He wobbled the guy, dropped him at the end of the 1st. He was more effective; he did more damage in the 2nd, and the third, he was more effective and did more damage. All Demian did was lay on his back. He didn’t really do any damage or any threatening positions with it, so, I don’t know how you win a fight like that. That’s been the story of Jorge’s career; he’s never gotten the judge’s nod when he beat a guy in a fight. At the end of the day, it is what it is. You can’t leave it to the judge’s scorecards, like Dana White says.”
Would you ever fight your best friend and ATT training partner Jorge Masvidal, the #5 ranked UFC welterweight?
“Yeah, we’ve talked about it. We would only square off if it were for a title fight. It doesn’t make sense to waste time fighting when we’re contenders. That doesn’t make sense; we’re not going to fight. We’re best friends; we’re brothers. We’ve trained together every single day for the past 6 years, so it makes no sense to fight each other. We know every ins and outs about each other’s style. So, we’d only fight for the title. If he’s the title or I got the title, that’s the only way we’re fighting.”
“I’m looking for a fight that sets me up for a title shot after that. Like Robbie Lawler, Demian Maia if he’s not getting a title shot, Stephen Thompson, Carlos Condit if he’s still around and not retired. Anybody in the top five that gets me a title eliminator fight, that’s what I’m looking for. I’m not trying to waste anymore time in my career; I’m a complete fighter now.”
Check out American Top Team’s Colby “Chaos” Covington face the UFC’s #7 welterweight Dong Hyun Kim, at UFC Fight Night 111 on June 17, 2017. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for all of your UFC event coverage including interviews, play-by-play, highlights, and more!