Colby Covington Claims ‘The Ship Has Sailed’ on Ian Garry Fight, Calls Out Charles Oliveira and Belal Muhammad

'Chaos' is moving on from a proposed fight with Garry, instead focusing on more unearned opportunities at welterweight

Colby Covington
Courtesy of @UFC on X

After coming up short in his third shot at welterweight gold, Colby Covington has a couple of names in mind for his next fight — and neither one is Ian Machado Garry.

Even before delivering a lackluster performance against Leon Edwards at UFC 296 in December, ‘Chaos’ drew the ire of the young up-and-coming Irish prospect. Like many fighters at the time, Covington jumped on the bandwagon of bagging on Garry’s marriage to 41-year-old TV personality Layla Anna-Lee.

That prompted Garry to call out Covington multiple times, even suggesting that he had accepted a fight with the three-time title challenger and was simply waiting for Covington to sign on the dotted line. However ‘Chaos’ has vehemently denied the claim.  

During a recent interview with Submission Radio, Covington suggested that “the ship has sailed” on his potential fight with Garry, adding that a fight against the No. 7 ranked contender in the division would do nothing for his career. 

“He’s going to have to learn the basic principle of life — you’re going to have to learn things the hard way,” Covington said. “So I don’t know, I don’t know if that ship will come back around. I said what I needed to say about him. I said the truth and nothing but the truth.

“He coming off a split decision against a busboy [Geoff Neal]. The kid’s serving Bloomin’ Onions over at Outback Steakhouse. He’s not even a full-time fighter. You’re coming off a split decision over that guy and you’re trying to act like you call the shots and I’ll do as I’m told? No kid, you’ll do as you’re told, and you’ll go sit there in a corner because you’re Corner McGregor.”

“No one cares about the kid,” Covington added. “He’s irrelevant. He doesn’t have any high-profile wins. He does nothing for my career. Why would I fight a guy like this? If I go out there and beat this guy, everybody’s just going to be like, ‘Oh, he’s a freaking nobody. There’s local jobbers on the independent circuit that are undefeated, so big deal, you took his 0. He hasn’t beaten anybody, he’s a nobody.’ So the fight does nothing for my career.”

In reality, a potential win over Ian Garry would earn Covington something he’s lacked for years — a win over a ranked opponent at 170. 

Covington Slams Belal Muhammad for ‘Squatting on his Ranking’

Instead, Covington hopes to aim a little higher up the rankings, calling for a fight with Belal Muhammad who currently sits at No. 2 and is next in line for a shot at Leon Edwards‘ UFC title. 

“I would like Belal. He’s talked a lot of smack,” Covington said. “Now he’s squatting on his ranking. He should have to come out and fight. I think we should fight. I think that’s the fight that should be next. He doesn’t deserve a title fight. How long has he sat out? He’s sat out for over a year.”

Ironically, Colby Covington sat out 21 months between his win over Jorge Masvidal in March 2022 and his decisive decision loss to Leon Edwards in December 2023. 

‘Chaos’ is also 2-3 in his last five fights. Meanwhile, Muhammad is riding a nine-fight win streak with his last four wins coming against top 15 opponents, three of them currently in the top 10. 

Colby Covington Calls for a Clash with Charles Oliveira

Of course, if Covington can’t score himself another undeserved fight at 170, he’s more than happy to bully around a lightweight fighter. Namely, former 155-pound champion Charles Oliveira.

“I want legacy fights,” Covington said. “I think a guy like Charles Oliveira makes sense. He was out there saying the other day that he wants to come up to welterweight. So, I’m the king of f*cking Brazil, man. Everybody knows I run that f*cking country. So, all the women love me. All the men in Brazil want to be like me.

“So, Charles Oliveira, you want this fight? You want to really come up to welterweight? You want big fights? Let’s see if you’re about it or if you just talk or you want to come up here and walk the walk. Let’s see.”

After coming up short against current lightweight king Islam Makhachev at UFC 280, ‘Do Bronx’ fought his way back to a title opportunity, respected to go down last October in Abu Dhabi. Unfortunately, a cut sustained while training forced Oliveira to bow out of the bout, paving the way for a rematch between Makhachev and Alexander Volkanovski.

Instead of rebooking the bout, Oliviera was knocked back down the ladder and forced to fight Arman Tsarukyan at UFC 300 to reclaim his spot at the top of the contender’s list. Instead, Tsarukyan would walk away with a split decision leaving Oliviera with an uncertain future at 155.

“We’re very comparable in size,” Covington continued. “But skill? No, that’s where we’re not comparable. That’s where I just beat [Oliveira] everywhere. I’m a better jiu-jitsu artist than him. I’m a better striker. I’m just a better all-around mixed martial artist. So, that’s why I just don’t think he actually comes up and follows through with his word. I think he’s all talk and he’s not really going to do it.

“So, I match up well with him and I’d love to entertain that fight. That’s what I want. That’s what I love, you know, fighting former champions. That’s all I’ve done in the last like seven or eight years. So, that’s all I want to keep doing. And I want to leave my legacy in this company as the first-ballot Hall of Famer.”

Watch the full interview below:

Published on May 13, 2024 at 4:15 pm
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