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UFC fighter Colby Covington appeared to threaten broadcaster Jon Anik over the commentator’s apparent support for Belal Muhammad’s welterweight title shot against Leon Edwards.
Covington ripped Anik in an interview with MMA Fighting on Tuesday, saying he associated with a "racist" in Muhammad and appeared to make a threat.
"But then you want to go back behind the stage and cheerlead for a racist. So he associates with racism and Belal Muhammad," Covington said. "And, you know, Jon Anik, dude, I don’t want your kids to grow up without a dad. Just realize you live in Boca, I live in Miami, mother------. You’re not too far from me. So you better shut your f--ing mouth. You poke the bear? Now you get the bear comes after you."
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Jon Anik anchors the broadcast during the UFC 284 event at RAC Arena on Feb. 12, 2023, in Perth, Australia. (Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
UFC president Dana White said after Edwards defeated Kamaru Usman at UFC 286 that Covington was next in line to get the title shot.
Anik appeared to support Muhammad’s shot in a tweet before the fight.
"Understand acutely why Colby Covington was the back-up but hard not to feel for @bullyb170! 9-fight unbeaten streak. Hasn't lost in 4-plus years. Just KO'd a previously undefeated fighter. The man deserves his respect and I don't say that b/c he hosts a podcast w/ my twin bro," he wrote.
Muhammad quote-tweeted Anik and appeared to suggest Covington got the next shot because he was White, according to MMA Mania. That appeared to be the crux of Covington’s racism argument.
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Colby Covington reacts after being called the winner over Jorge Masvidal during UFC 272 at T-Mobile Arena on March 5, 2022, in Las Vegas. (David Becker/Getty Images)
Muhammad indeed hasn’t lost a fight since 2019. His initial bout with Edwards resulted in a no-contest due to an eye poke. He’s currently fourth in the welterweight rankings.
As for whether Covington actually gets the title shot next, Edwards made clear Covington wasn’t next in line.
"I definitely have a say [in who’s next]," Edwards said on the "MMA Hour." "Listen, he ain’t getting a title shot next fight. Look at the road I had to take to get there. There’s no way you’re getting beat twice by the guy that I just beat twice, went out and beat Masvidal, and then sit out for a year and a half, not even tweeting or nothing, just go missing for a year, and then randomly pops up at the weigh-ins and it’s like, ‘OK, he’s fighting for the title next.’ It makes no sense at all, so let’s see how it plays out. He has to go out there and earn his way like I had to do.
"Khamzat [Chimaev] and me were calling each other out for years. This is a guy that I got matched up with three times in a row. I took the [Chimaev] fight and [Covington] didn’t take the fight and he’s getting rewarded for not taking the fight. When it was me, I got removed from the rankings. So ‘Dana White privilege’ is definitely real."
Colby Covington is seen in attendance during the UFC 286 event at The O2 Arena on March 18, 2023, in London. (Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
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Edwards added that Covington should have one more fight before getting a title nod.
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