When Colby Covington defeated Rafael Dos Anjos for UFC interim welterweight title last June, he assumed he would get the next shot at then-champ Tyron Woodley. That opportunity never came. Covington was eventually stripped of his interim belt while Woodley defended against Darren Till and then Kamaru Usman – who defeated “The Chosen One” this past March.
Ultimately, Covington was left with two options: wait for the call for when Usman is ready or fight now. Covington chose the latter and UFC.com sat down with the former interim champ to discuss how he came to that decision.
UFC: You’ve been a top contender for some time, so why take this fight instead of waiting for the champ, Kamaru Usman?
CC: I’ve been the champ for a long time and now it’s time to defend this belt. Who better to defend it against than Robbie Lawler – the biggest name in the division besides myself?
UFC: Dana White recently said you will get the title shot if you win Saturday. Does that add any extra pressure to this fight?
CC: I don’t feel pressure. Pressure is for internet virgins and Cheeto-eating dorks on their mom’s couches.
UFC: We know you used to train with Lawler and helped him prepare for fights. What did you see from those sessions and how can it help you on Saturday?
CC: We all know that Robbie Lawler is a hard puncher and he can knock someone out with one punch. But he’s never been in there with someone like me who’s well-rounded. I can push the pace. When I put him in deep waters, he will drown.
UFC: You made some headlines recently discussing Lawler’s exit from American Top Team. Is it personal now between you and Lawler?
CC: It’s not becoming. It is personal. It was personal the day he left American Top Team and our gym. After we built him up and everything we did for him, for him to leave us after one fight it’s like, it really shows the type of person he is. I have to make him pay for that (because I’m team captain).
UFC: You’ve fought in a couple big fights, but with this beef with Lawler and the title implications, is this your most important fight to date?
CC: Every fight is your most important. But this one is extra important. With our backstory and him leaving our gym and leaving us to dry, he hurt my family’s feelings. Now I have to hurt his feelings on Saturday night.