Colby Covington believes he’s the reason Khabib Nurmagomedov never moved up to the welterweight division.
Nurmagomedov recently became the undisputed lightweight champion following his second-round submission win over Justin Gaethje in the UFC 254 headliner this past weekend.
“The Eagle” dominated Gaethje in just about every department as all the pre-fight talk of “The Highlight” being his toughest test proved nothing more than speculation. Covington, however, knew exactly how that fight would go as he never believed Gaethje’s wrestling credentials proved a threat.
“I called that fight to a tee,” Covington told Submission Radio. “I said exactly what was going to happen. You had the fake news media building up Justin Gaethje like he was this All-Star wrestler and he had all the tools to beat Khabib, but what are they talking about? I saw that guy wrestle in college. While I was banging all the prom queens in college and pinning guys’ shoulders to the mat and winning national championships and becoming All-American, I saw Justin Gaethje wrestle. That guy sucked, man, he was a scrub.
“And just cause you wrestled, doesn’t mean you’re any good. So, I knew exactly how that was gonna go. I knew that Khabib – of course Khabib should be able to beat him, he’s fighting these little midgets. Come on, fight in your own weight class.”
Covington: Nurmagomedov Didn’t Want To Fight In Real Man’s Weight Class
With Nurmagomedov’s retirement, many observers are debating if he is in the conversation for the greatest of all time while many believe he is the current best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport today.
As far as Covington is concerned, however, Nurmagomedov’s legacy is tainted as he never chose to fight in his real weight class where he didn’t have to cut as much weight.
And in particular, the Dagestan native was scared to fight Covington.
“There was a great American legend hero that said in college, ‘pussies cut weight’. And I’m not talking about Dan Gable, who I was around in college, the guy’s a legend, I’m talking about yours truly,” Covington said. “I’m saying, if you have to cut weight, you’re a pussy. Why are you looking for this big advantage to have a weight advantage over these little guys and beat midgets? Come fight in a real man’s weight class.
“I think I’m the man and I’m the reason that he doesn’t come up to 170 in the first place. There’s a reason Khabib cuts all that weight. He cuts tons of weight. Everybody knows he walks around at like 190. He’s bigger than me. But I’m a real man, I fight in my weight class. I’ll fight a man any size. Khabib’s looking for a way to… he wants to beat up little midgets. Ok, that’s cool, Khabib, you beat up a bunch of little guys, a bunch of little midgets. But you’re not gonna fight in a real man’s weight class like 170 or welterweight, because you know I’m the man. You know who’s here, you know you have no chance to keep that undefeated record. So, there’s a reason he’s looking to cut a bunch of weight and there’s a reason I’ll fight any man alive.”
Nurmagomedov moving up to 170 would have certainly been enticing and furthered his legacy if he went on to become a two-weight champion.
But even if he did make the move up, he would likely be facing current champion Kamaru Usman instead of Covington in the first place. That said, a Nurmagomedov vs. Covington matchup would certainly be one for the ages and just for the trash talk alone.