UFC star Colby Covington unloaded on Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James for disregarding the national anthem while entering the University of Southern California’s arena to watch his son Bronny make his collegiate debut.
In a video that went viral, James is seen being escorted to his seat with his daughter and younger son Bryce, along with two of Bryce’s high school teammates. Even though the national anthem was playing and the rest of the arena was standing, James and his entourage were oblivious to the moment being preoccupied with settling into their seats.
Lebron James is an absolute piece of garbage!!! Show some RESPECT for the National Anthem!! pic.twitter.com/ZsID4tNvLu
— Graham Allen (@GrahamAllen_1) December 13, 2023
The left-wing NBA player is outspoken about social justice issues and in doing so opens himself up to criticism, which came hard and heavy. Covington, who is no fan of James, being among those who took issue with his actions.
“I’m gonna say one last thing, I’m gonna say one last thing to you guys… f**k LeBron James,” the former welterweight champ said Wednesday night as he prepares to take on Leon Edwards in a UFC 296 bout this weekend.
“If you hate America so much and you don’t like this country that gave you a billion dollars, leave it… or come deal with me,” he added. “Go to China, go to these sweatshops that you employ all these laborers and use these women and pay them pennies on the dollar to make your millions.”
If that wasn’t clear enough, the UFC fighter continued, “F**k you LeBron James, you’re a coward. A spineless coward and you’re a b*tch.”
JUST IN: UFC star Colby Covington goes off on LeBron James for not respecting the United States.
“If you hate America so much and you don’t like this country that gave you a billion dollars, leave it or come deal with me.”
“You go to China, go to these sweat shops that… pic.twitter.com/sZQC5ZIt5p
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) December 13, 2023
This is not the first time Covington has publicly admonished Lebron James at UFC 272.
In March 2022, the fighter said: “Before I go, I want to say a big thank you to the real heroes and celebrities in this country. Not that woke, spineless coward like LeBron James. I’m talking about our heroes, law enforcement, military, our first responders. God bless you, God bless you all. God bless America.”
As for his politics, Covington has reportedly requested that former President Donald Trump present him with the championship belt if he prevails in his upcoming bout.
Meanwhile, Covington unloaded in a wild interview, taking shots at Robert Whittaker as well as champions past and present – while making a big Donald Trump reveal.
Nothing and no one was off limits when the cocky Covington, 35, called Whittaker “irrelevant” and slammed “low IQ” Edwards and “pathetic” middleweight champion Sean Strickland.
Wearing a Make America Great Again hat, Covington also said he would be bringing former US President Donald Trump to the fights at T-Mobile Arena this weekend and had offered to fight in Sydney in September when the UFC was scrambling to book a main event for UFC 293.
Nicknamed “Chaos”, Covington is so confident of winning the welterweight title this weekend that he’s already talking about a move up to middleweight.
UFC 296: Leon Edwards vs Colby Covington | SUN 17th DEC 2PM AEDT | Order Now with Main Event on Kayo Sports. Starting January 2024, Main Event on Kayo Sports and Foxtel will be the exclusive home of UFC Pay-Per-View events in Australia.
The high-level wrestler had been linked to a blockbuster fight against Sydney’s Whittaker as recently as last year but said he had moved on from that possibility.
“No. That ship’s sailed,” he said when asked about fighting “The Reaper”.
“Robert lost the title and got beat in a contender fight, so he’s just not relevant.
“It doesn’t make sense. I’m at the top, I’m about to be the welterweight champion of the world, and I only want the best and biggest fights.
“I know they wouldn’t even waste my time and their time in trying to put that fight together.”
This weekend, though, Covington must get past welterweight champion Edwards, who will make the second defence of his title at UFC 296.
“Low IQ Leon,” Covington said of Edwards.
“I would love for you to ask him questions about his level of education because I don’t think he graduated elementary school.
“He’s mumbling and fumbling, he’s so stupid.”
Colby Covington said Edwards got lucky when he landed a stunning fifth-round head kick to stop Kamaru Usman and take the 170-pound belt in August last year and the Englishman couldn’t sell a fight.
“He landed a Hail Mary knockout of Usman after getting dominated for 24 minutes, now he’s over-hyped and overconfident,” Covington said.
“I’m going to bring out the quitter in Leon.
“There’s a reason I’m the A side and there’s a reason why I’m bringing the most famous person alive, Donald Trump, to the fight. Who’s Leon bringing? Is he bringing the royal family?
“Is he bringing Paddington the Bear, is he bringing Mary Poppins? Nope.
“Nobody cares about Leon.”
If he does win this weekend and moves to middleweight, Covington wants to fight the only other man in the UFC who is as equally outspoken as him: Sean Strickland.
Strickland shocked the world when he dethroned Israel Adesanya as middleweight champion in Sydney in September but has generated as many headlines for his outlandish statements as his fights.
Despite appearing to have similar political and social beliefs, Covington and Strickland hate each other.
“He’s pretending to be everything he wishes I was,” Covington said. “I would love to slap Sean Strickland around.
“He’s a pathetic excuse of a human being.
“The guy has no IQ. He needs his mouth wired shut and I’m the guy to do it.”
Strickland wasn’t the UFC’s first choice to fight Adesanya in Sydney but took the fight after No.1 contender Dricus du Plessis pulled out injured.
Strickland will now defend the title against du Plessis in Toronto next month.
However, Covington said he offered to step in and headline when the company was searching for a suitable main event for Sydney three months ago.
“I called Dana White right away,” he said. “They know I’m always ready, so when they were scrambling and shuffling, I volunteered to fight in Sydney. I was ready to go in September.”
Despite having a boomerang thrown at him by former heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum when they were in Sydney in 2017, Covington said he had always had a soft spot for Australia.
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