Former UFC interim welterweight champion Colby Covington revealed to Heavy that all those stories going around on social media and at various news sites saying he “appears to try and kiss” President Donald Trump’s hand at a recent political rally in Las Vegas were examples of political bias in the media.
“I was giving him his respect,” Covington said. “I wasn’t kissing his hand.”
Covington told Heavy he was “bowing” to Trump as a sign of respect.
“I was just bowing to him,” Covington said. “I shook his hand and bowed to the president because he’s…the most powerful man in the world.”
You can watch the “somewhat awkward handshake” between Covington and the president below to judge for yourself.
— Colby Covington (@ColbyCovMMA) September 14, 2020
It’s important to note that Covington is the one who posted the video. Had the handshake been as “awkward” as many have suggested and included an embarrassing tried-and-failed kiss to the hand as many others have claimed, one wonders why Covington would have been so happy to share it.
Regardless, it was a big story in the news cycle, so Heavy made sure to ask the fighter about it.
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Covington Faces Tyron Woodley on Saturday Night
Covington’s next fight is a massive showdown against former champ Tyron Woodley.
The 32-year-old American is coming off what he considers to be a controversial stoppage loss to UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman at UFC 245 in December 2019.
In that fight, Covington claims referee Marc Goddard made several incorrect calls that eventually led to the late stoppage win for Usman.
Regardless, Covington hopes to get back on track for the coveted rematch by dispatching former UFC welterweight champ Woodley on Saturday night in the main event of the next UFC Fight Night Card at UFC APEX in Las Vegas.
— UFC (@ufc) September 15, 2020
Woodley, 38, has lost two straight but is one of the most dangerous welterweights in UFC history.
Both men are ranked among the top five in the division. Covington is ranked No. 2 and Woodley is No. 5.
Covington: ‘They’re All Just Jealous Haters’
Covington said by now he’s used to people blowing things out of proportion about him.
“All these people saying that are just jealous haters,” Covington said.
Moreover, the fighter pointed out that they might think about things differently if they were in the same kind of position of shaking a world leader’s hand.
“At the end of the day, they’re all jealous that I’m hanging out with the president of the United States. And let’s be honest, how would they shake the president of the United States hand?”
— UFC (@ufc) September 16, 2020
“Oh yeah, that’s right, they’ll never see the president of the United States in their miserable lives because they’re in their mom’s basement.”
Covington also pointed out how much taller the president was than him.
“He’s six inches taller than me. I’m five-foot-eleven and he’s like six-foot-five. He’s a giant. He’s enormous. Him shaking my hand is face level so I just bowed to him.”
The idea here seems to be that the handshake might look a little weird between the two because of the size disparity.
Covington’s Beef With MMA Media Continues
Honestly, it at least seemed apparent to this writer that Covington wasn’t kissing or even trying to kiss anyone’s hand in the video.
When asked why or how anyone would come up with that idea when watching the video Covington posted via his social media channels, Covington expounded on his views about political bias.
“It’s obvious that they’re biased because I support the president and they don’t support him,” Covington said. “But that shows that they’re not real journalists. It shows that they have their feeling involved. You’re supposed to report on real news and what’s happening. You’re not supposed to report on your feelings and how emotional you are about someone just because they support something you don’t.”
Covington frequently disses the MMA and other forms of media in interviews. He didn’t hold back doing the same during his interview with Heavy.
“That’s why I give them so much s***,” Covington said. “They should be at Comic-Con. They shouldn’t be MMA journalists.”
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