The UFC recently announced that its next three events had fallen victim to the Covid-19 outbreak spreading around the world.
That included this weekend’s UFC London – which was due to be headlined by local welterweight hero Leon Edwards and American former welterweight king Tyron Woodley.
Once it emerged that the event in the UK capital could not happen in London and that Edwards was ruled out, Colby issued his own social media plea to step in and face Woodley.
“The people want this fight… let’s save America, b*tch,” Covington implored, flanked by a bikini-clad friend.
Ultimately that didn’t happen as the event was scrapped completely, although Covington now says both men had been down to fight.
“Both sides were agreeing,” Covington told MMA Fighting.
“Tyron Woodley’s never accepted a fight with me. For the first time ever, he’s finally agreed to fight me, and it was about to happen for the people, and all of a sudden, the plug got pulled, and they couldn’t find anywhere to do the fight.”
The American Top Team fighter suggested that was the wrong decision – despite social curbs being imposed in the US and around the world to halt the spread of a virus that has infected more than 200,000 people and caused over 8,000 deaths.
“I don’t think it was the right move,” Covington said. “I think we’re healthy, young professional athletes. We already do something that’s dangerous enough as it is, getting locked into an octagon and fighting each other, so what’s more dangerous than a little flu that’s going on right now?
“I think people just need to be more aware of what’s going on, wash their hands, social distancing, this and that. But as professional athletes, we already risk enough as it is.”
The Trump-supporting Covington also said mass hysteria was playing a role in the situation.
“I think everybody’s kind of panicking and acting irrationally, and we just need to realize that everything’s under control, and America, the greatest country in the world, is going to be OK, and things will go back to normal…,” the former welterweight interim champ said.
“So I want to see us come together as one and understand this isn’t left our right. This isn’t political. This is the world and the nation needing to come together.
“We need to put our differences aside, and people need to look out for each other. Let’s get America back to normal as soon as possible,” he added.
Covington, 32, lost his last octagon outing when he was stopped by welterweight champion Kamaru Usman at UFC 245 in December.
And despite his recent call-out, Covington said that setting up a rematch with Usman “definitely takes priority” over a potential bout with former 170lbs king Woodley.