Member Since: 1/1/01
Welterweight Colby Covington continued commenting controversially about Kamaru Usman and Tyron Woodley following his win at Saturday's UFC on ESPN+ 36. The remarks would likely not be tolerated in the NFL, MLB, NBA etc. However, at the post-fight press conference, UFC president Dana White said emphatically that fighters in the UFC are free to speak their mind, including criticism of management.
“One of the things that we’ve never done here at the UFC is stop people from expressing how they feel about certain things inside or outside the Octagon,” said White. “Even if it’s me, if it’s about me. Who’s more about free speech than we are? We literally let our people do or say whatever it is they do. It’s normal.
“I would have to say to this day the darkest one ever was Khabib and Conor. When I left that press conference, I didn’t feel great after I left that press conference. Everything that happened this week, I f***ing saw it coming 100 miles away.”
Covington and Woodley were contractually obligated to take part in a pre-fight press conference together. It was eventually scrapped, ostensibly to promote the undercard, but White says he knows how it would have gone.
“I could f***ing write the entire script for you right now what would have happened at that press conference,” said White. “You guys know it, too. Plus, you heard everything already. You heard all the talk. These guys wanted to fight, they hate each other, the whole deal.
“The Conor-Khabib thing, you didn’t see that coming. I didn’t see that coming. It was just very weird and very dark. That’s one of the weirdest ones ever. But again my point in saying that is we’ve never stopped anybody from expressing themselves and saying how they feel.”
“My philosophy is always this is a fight. People are going to say mean s*** to each other. It’s like ‘they shouldn’t be allowed to say that’ — they’re going to f***ing punch each other in the face tomorrow. What could they possibly say? This is the fight game. I just don’t believe in all that.”