Colby Covington is one of the best UFC welterweight fighters at present. Although he has failed to capture the belt on two separate occasions, Covington remains the top seed in the division and he is set to receive his third title shot at UFC 296 against the reigning champion, Leon Edwards.
Whenever it comes to Colby, fans are often hesitant to take his words at face value due to his brash personality. The former interim welterweight champ has a reputation for putting up a character to entertain the masses. However, there have been occasions when Covington dropped his gimmick and the fans a look into his life.
One such occasion came recently when Colby “Chaos” Covington sat down for an interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto. During the interview, the 36-year-old added that he wanted to pursue his collegiate wrestling career at Iowa State instead of Oregon State University. Unfortunately, his time in Iowa ended after a drunk driving incident in 2007.
Covington revealed that he was young at the time and his emotions got the better of him. However, he was not shown any mercy from Dan Gable and Tom Brands after his DUI arrest. While several decades have passed after the incident, it is something that still haunts the UFC fighter. He felt undone by the harsh decision to cut him from the wrestling team.
He added, “All my whole life, all I wanted to do was wrestle for Iowa wrestling under Dan Gable and Tom Brands and then now I’m like a failure to those guys. They lost hope in me, they gave up on me essentially. They didn’t think I could deserve a second chance, they said ‘hey, nope. That was the one chance you got. So I think that was a little harsh.”
After the unfortunate incident ended his collegiate wrestling career with Iowa State, he went back to Oregon to finish his wrestling career with his head held high and with Division 1 honors. But, to this day, Colby holds a grudge and called the decision to exile him from Iowa State a “cruel” decision. It is important to mention that Covington has completely given up on drinking since that incident.
Colby Covington wanted to be the “best wrestler in the world”
Taking a single look at Colby Covington’s fighting style gives away his strong suit and it is wrestling. Although he is currently averaging a very high 4.10 strikes per minute according to UFC Stats, most of his strikes are a way to set up his eventual takedown. The Oregon native has 3 submission wins in his career as well.
“I wanted to be the best wrestler in the world,” added Colby. “It (the desire) was instant. You know I think as a smaller little kid you know. Like freshmen year of high school, I was 100 lbs. So I got picked on a lot, I got bullied and you know, I just, I always got picked on through middle school and elementary school.”
The hunger to succeed in wrestling stemmed from a deep-rooted anger that came from getting bullied. Instead of lashing out at others, Colby used the drive to prove his mettle on the mat. Not only did he succeed and become an All-American Division 1 wrestler, but also an elite MMA fighter. You can catch him in action on December 16, 2023, at UFC 296.