Saturday, April 6, 2024

Dana White critical of Colby Covington’s trash talk of Leon Edwards’ murdered father: ‘Such a nasty thing to do’

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LAS VEGAS – Dana White usually lets a lot fly in terms of comments from UFC athletes, but he thinks Colby Covington crossed the line this past week in the buildup to UFC 296.

Covington, a known antagonizer, brought up Leon Edwards’s murdered father during their pre-fight press conference Thursday and later doubled down on his comments. The trash talk not only got a reaction from Edwards, who threw a water bottle at Covington and tried to rush him on stage, but also on White.

“It bothered everybody,” White said at the UFC 296 post-fight press conference. “What I say, it’s true: We’re in the fight game, and lots of mean things are said. (But) one of the things that I really don’t like is family (trash talk).

“When you start going after family, whether it’s the kids, the wife, the parents, whatever, it’s just such a nasty thing to do. But again, this is one of those sports where you say horrible things and then 24 hours later it goes down.”

Edwards (22-3 MMA, 14-2 UFC) ended up defeating Covington (17-4 MMA, 12-4 UFC) in a unanimous decision win in the main event of UFC 296, completing his second title defense.

After the decision was read, Edwards’ team was getting riled up with Covington in the octagon, and security had to make sure the situation didn’t escalate. Despite what Covington’s pre-fight comments potentially creating a hostile situation and White not liking them, the UFC CEO won’t consider censorship.

“I don’t ever tell anyone what to say,” White said. “You know what we will say: ‘Guys, when you go out on that stage, do not touch each other.’ Everybody thinks that I love when these type of things break. No, I don’t love it. More importantly, the commission doesn’t love it, and the commission is the government.

“So no, we don’t like this stuff, and we do everything in our power to make sure it doesn’t happen.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 296.

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