The MMA community is currently embroiled in a heated controversy following a death threat made by UFC fighter Colby Covington against commentator Jon Anik. This came as a result of comments made by Anik regarding Covington's recent actions, which sparked a strong reaction from the fighter.
Last weekend, 'Chaos' made an appearance in London as the designated backup fighter for the highly anticipated UFC 286 main event featuring Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman.
Following 'Rocky's' decision win over Usman, UFC president Dana White confirmed that Covington will be the next challenger for Edwards' 170lb title. However, the decision to grant Covington a title shot, despite his inactivity since his unanimous decision win over Masvidal at UFC 272 in March 2022, has garnered widespread criticism.
Edwards has refused to agree to a fight against Covington until he proves himself by defeating at least one top contender upon his return to the Octagon.
Meanwhile, Muhammad, who has won eight consecutive fights, is among the few welterweight contenders who feel hard done by following White's title announcement. Muhammad even suggested on social media that Covington is receiving the title shot solely because he is white, a claim he retracted by deleting his tweet.
Covington then has taken to the public arena to challenge Belal Muhammad after the latter made remarks about Covington's role as the backup fighter for UFC 286.
Jon Anik defended Muhammad's case by pointing out his remarkable unbeaten streak and recent victories.
Covington expressed his anger towards Anik's comments, which he found to be supportive of 'racist' Muhammad. This came as a surprise to Covington, who had recently had a friendly conversation with the well-liked UFC play-by-play commentator in London just a few days prior. During a recent interview with MMA Fighting, the 35-year-old went on to criticize Anik and even made what appeared to be a threatening remark towards the long-time UFC broadcaster.
Covington said: “So, you wanted to lick my frickin’ balls in London, ‘Oh Colby! This, this, this!’ But then you want to go back behind the stage and cheerlead for a racist! So, he associates with racism and Belal Muhammad.
“And, you know, Jon Anik, dude, I don’t want your kids to grow up without a dad. Just realize you live in Boca, I live in Miami motherf*****.
“You’re not too far from me. So you better shut your f****** mouth. You poke the bear, and now you get the bear coming after you.”
The MMA community has been quick to respond to the situation, with many condemning Covington's actions. Belal Muhammad himself tweeted a warning to Covington: "The reason why Masvidal broke his face ..it’s bout to happen again"
I don't get why he's threatening Jon's life. Sell the fights, yeah, but don't go after commentators. That's lame.— Brandon (@BrandonTalks) March 21, 2023
UFC veteran Brandon Schaub called out Covington for his behavior, stating that "selling fights" did not justify making threats against commentators.
Check out the fans' reaction to the incident below:
Despite the recent uproar surrounding Covington's controversial comments, Anik appeared to brush them off during a recent podcast. On the other hand, White has yet to make any public statement regarding the issue, despite the criticism he's receiving for granting Covington his third shot at the undisputed title.
Meanwhile, the upcoming UFC 287 event in April will feature a match between Gilbert Burns and Jorge Masvidal. Edwards, on the other hand, has expressed his eagerness to face the winner, particularly if it's Masvidal, with whom he has a long-standing feud.