Brash welterweight Colby Covington has offered an explanation for his unusually insipid performance against Leon Edwards in December’s UFC 296 headliner.
Covington came up short for a third time in his bid to claim the undisputed UFC welterweight championship, after being largely outclassed and outpointed by reigning champion Edwards across five rounds in Las Vegas.
But speaking to Submission Radio in an extended interview on Tuesday, Covington said that a broken foot he sustained when he threw his very first kick in the first round is to blame for the below-par showing; an injury he said removed his ability to press forward off his injured foot, hampering his usual all-action, pressuring style of fighting.
“I couldn’t plant or explode off it to use the wrestling and pressure I planned to use,” Covington said, as noted by MMA Fighting. “I didn’t want to disclose this information until I had the X-rays back home, but here they are.
Colby Covington releases X-ray confirming a broken foot in the first round against Leon Edwards at UFC 296 👀 pic.twitter.com/YDwWi2u9fi
— Happy Punch (@HappyPunch) February 6, 2024
“I knew straight away it was bad,” he explained. “It was the first kick I threw, it landed right on his elbow. He was in orthodox so I kind of got a little overzealous and I wanted to rip a high kick to his orthodox side because I didn’t know if he’d be defensively sound from southpaw. So, the first kick I threw, a high kick, it was kind of like a middle kick, it landed on his elbow.
“Haters will still find a way to hate on me for fighting 25 minutes on one leg while landing over 100 more strikes than Leon,” he continued. “But you know what, my haters are so broke they can’t even pay attention so f*ck them.”
After noting the injury, Covington admitted he went into “panic mode” when faced down with the dominant striker.
“It was a panic-type mode,” Covington said. “You’re like, ‘Oh, f*ck. I’m compromised.’ You know your foot’s hurt, you know? I could feel it throbbing and the fire really started to hit my foot and start to feel that excruciating type of pain.”