- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 10, 2018

To heck with the Philadelphia Eagles and the Golden State Warriors — President Trump can host the newest UFC champion at the White House.

Colby Covington won a unanimous decision over Rafael Dos Anjos late Saturday night to win the mixed martial-arts promotion’s interim welterweight championship — champion Tyron Woodley has been sidelined by injury — and promptly invited himself to meet the president.

“I’m going to do what a real American should do. I’m bringing this belt to the White House and I’m putting it on Donald Trump’s desk,” he told Joe Rogan in the immediate post-fight interview before going on to call Mr. Woodley a coward and more.

Mr. Covington has become well-known for trash talking — he insulted Mr. Dos Anjos’s native Brazil as a backward hellhole and called its people “flithy animals.”

The crowd at the United Center in Chicago booed him during the Rogan interview — he responded by cupping his ear as if he was straining to hear — and occasionally during the fight broke into chants of “Colby sucks.”

But he doubled down on his in-cage comments in his post-fight interviews, appropriating Mr. Trump’s slogan and dissing the Super Bowl champions whose players declined to go.

“I told everybody I was going to make the welterweight division great again,” he said at the post-fight press conference, repeating his words about going to the White House like “a real American should … Unlike the Filthadelphia Eagles disrespecting our flag and kneeling for the national anthem.”

He took to Twitter early Sunday to say “Next stop for this gold belt, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. with President @realDonaldTrump! #ufc225 #nerdbash2018 #maga.”

In a further interview on Fox Sports’s post-fight program, he not only repeated his self-invitation and declaration that he’d “make this division great again,” but got into smack-talk with retired UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping — himself no slouch in that department.

“Do you have an invite to go to the White House or is that just another figment of your imagination, like being champ,” Mr. Bisping said of the interim champion.

“The only figment of my imagination is that you must not be seeing right with that one eye,” Mr. Covington replied to Mr. Bisping, who suffered a detached retina in a 2013 KO loss and after five surgeries has a permanently disfigured right eye.

Implicitly answering Mr. Bisping’s actual question, UFC President Dana White said at the post-fight press conference he could probably pull it off.

“He wants to take the (belt to the White House)? Yeah, I can make that happen,” Mr. White said, adding “yeah” in a manner that the fight-sports website MMA Junkie described as “without any sense of doubt.”

Mr. White was one of the few high-profile entertainment figures to back Mr. Trump in the 2016 presidential election and he was a speaker at the Republican National Convention.

• Victor Morton can be reached at vmorton@washingtontimes.com.

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