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UFC Newark: Matt Hughes responds to Colby Covington’s ‘train tracks’ trash talk following Robbie Lawler win

With welterweight fan favorite, Jorge Masvidal, trying to slide his way into a 170-pound title fight against reigning division kingpin, Kamaru Usman, former interim champion, Colby Covington, needed to make a statement in his UFC on ESPN 5 main event.

Mission accomplished.

Covington dominated former champion, Robbie Lawler, through 25 minutes of one-sided action. In fact, his prolonged beating — a perfect blend of wrestling and striking — likely proved more about his skill set than a quick knockout or sneaky submission.

I know it’s hard to give credit to a fighter like Covington, simply because he acts like an insufferable douchebag when outside the cage, but his striking, grappling, and cardio were aces on Sat. (Aug. 3) inside Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

It’s a shame we’re not talking more about his performance, but his post-fight interview was complete “Chaos,” involving a political statement for the Trump family, as well as a tasteless joke about former welterweight champion, Matt Hughes.

“Hey let’s talk about the lesson we learned tonight,” Covington told Jon Anik. “It’s a strong lesson Robbie should have learned from his good buddy Matt Hughes. You stay off the tracks when the train is coming through, junior. Doesn’t matter if it’s the Trump train or the Colby train, get out the way!”

Hughes was struck by a train in a near-fatal wreck back in June 2017, one that left him with permanent brain damage. Lawler, who was mentored by Hughes, was in the middle of his UFC 214 fight camp when the accident took place.

“I want to dedicate this fight to Matt Hughes,” Lawler said after topping Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone on the pay-per-view (PPV) main card. “He’s fighting a lot harder than I just did. This is for you, buddy.”

I understand that Covington wants to be the bad guy, and I’m a firm believer that anyone who talks shit before a fight and gets wrecked deserves a post-fight pie in the face. But Lawler didn’t talk any trash or make this personal in any way, and Hughes certainly doesn’t have anything to do with the fights in Newark.

Hughes, however, doesn’t seem to be too upset about it.

“Not sure if Colby Covington should have used my accident as fuel for his post-fight trash talk, but that was one heck of a fight,” Hughes wrote on Instagram. “Reminder though, this is the fighting world. People talk trash and you gotta have thick skin.”

Covington improved to 15-1 with his rout of Lawler and will likely face Usman at the UFC 244 PPV event this November in New York. As for the “Ruthless” slugger, who never really got anything going during their five-round affair, it’s back to the drawing board.