In a recent episode of the "Hall of Fame" podcast, WWE Hall of Famer Booker T weighed in on the contentious UFC Welterweight Championship bout between Leon Edwards and Colby Covington. The fight, which Edwards clinched with a unanimous decision, was marred by pre-fight controversy owing to Covington's remarks about Edwards' late father, a victim of murder nearly two decades ago.
Booker T expressed strong disapproval of Covington's tactics. He criticized Covington for stooping to extreme lows to promote the fight, behavior uncharacteristic of a professional pugilist. "He's the lowest that they come as far as a pugilist.
To go as low as he did is definitely a despicable act. A despicable person," Booker stated. He further noted Covington's lack of gratitude for the opportunities he received, including a title shot after a two-year hiatus and the support of the former President of the United States at his fights.
Covington's Selective Challenges
Moreover, Booker T highlighted Covington's selective approach in challenging opponents, opting for more established names like Wonderboy Thompson over rising talents. He expressed hope that Covington's recent behavior would distance him from future championship bouts.
Brad Gilmore, Booker T's co-host, echoed these sentiments, labeling Covington a polarizing figure who often uses controversy to enhance his gimmick. However, Gilmore noted that even Dana White, UFC President, acknowledged that Covington had crossed a line with his latest antics.
In response, Booker T emphasized the importance of freedom of speech but argued for accountability within organizations. He stressed that if he were in charge, individuals engaging in behavior akin to Covington's would not be welcome.
"If anybody was doing what Colby Covington was doing, they would not be a part of my organization," he affirmed. As the conversation concluded, Booker T commended Edwards on his victory and shared a personal anecdote about meeting the champion during a trip overseas, reflecting on the positive encounter.
This stark condemnation from a respected figure like Booker T underscores the ongoing debate about the limits of promotional tactics in combat sports, highlighting the fine line between entertainment and respect for personal tragedies.