Things sure are getting political around here.
After months of stumping for Donald Trump and Don Jr. leading up to his failed title bid at UFC 245, Colby Covington has become something of a punchline in liberal circles. #MAGAJAW trended on Twitter for days after his defeat, with non-fight fans crowing over the broken jaw Covington suffered at the hands of Kamaru Usman. Various political pages that never cared a whit for the UFC were now churning out savage memes at Colby’s expense.
And it’s still going. This weekend lightweight contender Kevin Lee spoke at a Las Vegas rally for Bernie Sanders (video via Helen Yee), and his mention of Covington’s loss generated quite the cheer.
”I’m a fighter, and I don’t know how many people saw the fight last week: President Trump’s boy getting knocked out in the title fight,” Lee said. “Now listen, we all gonna take our lumps, but the man ran out the back door of T-Mobile Arena. And I’m not ashamed to stand up here and say it. I fought in the same arena in 2017 for my first world title, and I lost it. I’m not ashamed to say that. But I stood up, I shared my mistakes, my mamma was sitting front row again. I said what I had to correct and I’m getting ready for my next one in 2020.”
”So I might have made some mistakes here or there in my career and my life ... one of them being one of those people that said I was gonna vote in 2016 and then I didn’t,” he continued to disappointed gasps of horror. “I gotta be honest. But one thing I learnt: I will not make the same mistake twice. And I’m gonna vote for the dude I feel is just like me. I’m feeling the Bern. “
Backstage speaking to The Schmo, Lee also accuses the UFC of trying to censor his pro-Bernie message following his win over Gregor Gillespie.
”After I made my little statement, I wanted to make a bigger one,” he said. “They muted me. If you go back and watch the video, they muted me when I screamed his name. But they ain’t gonna mute me in front of all these people out here.”
Lee is hoping to fight in April on the UFC 249 card headlined by Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson, and it seems like that’s what is going to happen. It’s unconfirmed at this point, but the promotion is working on putting him up against Khabib teammate Islam Makhachev on the undercard.
Makhachev is 18-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC and on a six fight win streak (which doesn’t include the out of competition sucker punch he threw at Dillon Danis during the Khabib / McGregor brawl). As usual, Lee is facing some of the stiffest competition around. But if he looks as good as he did during his headkick knockout win over Gregor Gillespie, it’s be a hard night for Makhachev.