The Monster the UFC Created

Fan: “What advice do you have for someone who wants to get famous?”

Ricky Gervais: “Kill a prostitute.”

Dynamic. That’s the best way to describe Colby Covington’s performance on Saturday night, where he mixed relentless takedowns with multifaceted striking offense to shut out former champion Robbie Lawler in the UFC on ESPN 5 headliner. “Chaos” extended his win streak to seven, taking every round on the judge’s scorecards and earning a company record for strike attempts in the process. Covington neutralized Lawler’s much-venerated offense from the opening bell, battering him across the cage for the full 25 minutes in what was one part Michael Bisping’s volume striking and one part Chael Sonnen’s suffocating top game.

One-dimensional. That’s the most honest descriptor of Covington’s schtick once the final bell rang. Interviewed by Jon Anik in the aftermath of the official announcement, Covington rattled off his usual set of talking points. First, he made a sycophantic toast to the Trump family, a number of whom witnessed his display from the first row of the Prudential Center. Second, he made a generic call out to America’s armed forces, citing their sacrifice as the precondition to his in-cage success. With his conservative base catered to, he then set out to incite controversy, drawing a comparison between his dominance of Lawler and the train that almost took the life of Lawler’s mentor, Matt Hughes, in June 2017. He closed the show with a screeching, barely coherent callout of undisputed champion Kamaru Usman, before storming out of the cage to take a call from the Commander-in-Chief and engage in a cringeworthy confrontation with “The Nigerian Nightmare” on the UFC’s post-fight show.

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