Donald Trump is such a fan of Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight Colby Covington that he called the fighter in the middle of a press conference following his win over Tyron Woodley on Saturday.
In a moment captured by ESPN MMA on Twitter, Trump was quick to praise the fighter following his technical knockout victory. The president also told Covington he rushed back from a night rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina to watch the bout.
Covington is a follower of Trump and the Make America Great Again and Keep America Great movements, while also being one of the president’s most outspoken allies in the world of sports.
“I’m proud of you man, I’m a big fan and I’m proud of you,” Trump told Covington, who had the conversation on speakerphone.
While the call seemed to be spontaneous, some speculated it was arranged since Covington was proudly wearing his Keep America Great hat during all his post-fight media duties.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) September 20, 2020
Trump continued to lavish praise on the fighter during the call.
“You’re tough, you have the right spirits. So now go win the next one, and just keep it for a long time, right?… I appreciated the shout-out tonight, too. I’m your fan, you’re my fan. Two of a kind, two of a kind.”
The shout-out Trump referred to came during a post-fight interview where Covington went after many of the same targets the president does. Draped in an American flag, he hit out at Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and doubled down by aiming for Black Lives Matter and woke culture. He even took some time to slam the NBA’s biggest star, LeBron James.
As reported previously by The Inquisitr, Covington’s comments sparked instant controversy. According to Yahoo Sports, he promised Trump’s followers will rise to drive the president to a second term in the White House.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the silent majority is ready to make some noise. If you thought that was a beating, wait until November 3 when Donald Trump gets his hands on Sleepy Joe. That’s going to be a landslide.”
Covington is among the most outspoken UFC stars and is seen as a provocateur in the current culture war. However, he also speaks to the MMA fanbase that has a growing reputation for tilting toward conservative values.
Leading up to the contest between Covington and Woodley, the fighters engaged in a war of words revolving around the culture war. As reported by the Daily Mail, former UFC welterweight champion Woodley wore a Black Lives Matter shirt during pre-fight press events. Covington took offense to the shirt slogan that read “Make racists catch the fade again.”
Covington set the stage for a grudge match in an Instagram post claiming Woodley is “racist” and a “domestic terrorist sympathizer.”