Covington (17-3 MMA, 12-3 UFC), a polarizing figure in the MMA world given his trash talk and outspokenness on politics, recently trashed the newly crowned UFC middleweight champion on both his skills and his persona outside the cage. Covington finds Strickland, who upset Israel Adesanya to win the belt, to be annoying and doesn’t identify with him in any way.
“He’s outspoken in the most obnoxious manner and just belligerent and just so low IQ,” Covington told My MMA News. “That guy has no wits. He just says some of the most egregious, nasty stuff. I can’t identify with anything of that guy. He just says some really stupid things about women and I think it’s equality out there and everybody shouldn’t be entitled to someone.
“It’s not if you’re a woman or the color of your skin, it’s who’s the most qualified for a job. Dude, he’s an idiot and an even weaker fighter. He got lucky ( cashed out already.”
Covington returns to the cage against welterweight champion Leon Edwards in the main event of the UFC 296 pay-per-view, which is set to go down at T-Mobile Arena on Dec. 16.
Covington plans to finally get his hands on the UFC undisputed belt and then, if Strickland is still champion, maybe even move up given that he doesn’t find Strickland to be a quality fighter.
“That’s the beauty of the UFC – it’s such a pure sport,” Covington said when asked about Strickland’s win over Adesanya. “Anybody can win on any given night. If you don’t come ready to fight that night, and you have an off night, that’s what can happen. Obviously Adesanya overlooked him, and he thought he was just going to breeze through this guy and probably didn’t train very hard for him. I think he’s getting a little comfortable up there. He made some big paychecks, and he’s not as hungry as he used to be.
“It just opens the door for all the middleweights because that’s (Strickland) the easiest guy to beat. Honestly, it opens up the door for me. I might go up there and beat his ass. That guy is a f*cking punk. He got his ass knocked out by (Kamaru) Usman.”