For Colby Covington, two straight fights inside the Octagon have resulted in a pair of submission finishes.
After winning his first five pro bouts, the American Top Team welterweight signed with the UFC in 2014. He promptly was shipped over to China, where he finished Wang Anying inside of the first round.
Covington’s second bout was vs. Wagner Silva in Silva’s home country of Brazil, as he once again locked up a submission via rear-naked choke.
Since November, though, the former Iowa Central Community College and Oregon State University wrestling standout has been bettering his craft in Florida.
“I keep busy between fights by just focusing on areas that I need to get better,” Covington said. “It is nice to have friends that are fighting in the UFC because that definitely keeps you motivated.”
Prior to landing with the UFC, Covington fought once in Oregon and four times in Florida. Four of those five were also submission finishes.
While training and waiting for his next fight, Covington decided to use social media to try and land a meeting with fellow rising 170-pounder Tim Means. That didn’t come together, as Means accepted a fight with Matt Brown.
“I was just trying to stir the pot in hope for a fight with Tim,” he said. “I know it’s a good style match up for me.”
On the subject of social media, Covington stated that it is a “huge” tool for fighters to use.
“The more fans you get, the quicker the UFC will push you for big fights and want to market you,” he added. “(But) it definitely can hurt fighters if they aren’t saying the right things and (are) causing controversy.”
Some of that “talk” on Twitter involved his ATT teammate Jorge Masvidal. Covington was in his corner during a fight with Al Iaquinta that resulted in a controversial decision loss for Masvidal.
“I thought the decision was a joke and I think everyone knows who really won that fight,” he said. “But you can’t leave it in the judges hands because everyone knows the crooked nature of the sport.”
Another teammate of Covington’s, Robbie Lawler, will be defending the very title he is chasing later this year vs. Rory MacDonald.
“I have to go with my teammate and friend Lawler taking the belt back (to ATT),” he said. “He knows what it takes to win and will find a way to beat MacDonald again.”