Amassing a 5-1 record in the UFC’s talent filled welterweight division; Colby Covington will look to extend his win streak to 3 when he takes on Bryan Barberena at UFC Sacramento. After dropping his first fight as a professional to Warlley Alves last year, he has since bounced back with 2 straight finishes.
Barberena is coming off of a submission win over prospect Sage Northcutt and picked up an impressive decision win over Alves who Covington lost to last year. Despite that, Covington hasn’t necessarily been impressed with Barberena’s recent surge.
“No I’m not really impressed. He’s a resilient fighter, he’s earned respect but I’m not really impressed by a fighter like Bryan Barberena, I’m shooting for the top of the division. I’m not shooting for the guys that are prospects and he’s going to find out that I’m not a prospect, I’m a contender.”
Having dropped his first professional fight to Alves, Covington feels that he wasn’t himself entering that contest and come December 17th, he will look to prove that he is the better fighter than Barberena.
“That fight that I lost, people in my gym and my coaches they know the truth behind it,” Covington said. “I entered the fight with a broken rib, I was broke, I was trying to get a paycheck and I was just showing up. I wasn’t in the right mind frame to fight that night so the past is in the past and they’re going to find out the true me. They’re going to see my true potential and this is going to be a little bit of a revenge fight, it’s going to be sweet for me.”
Despite entering this contest very confident, he is aware of what Barberena brings to the table as a fighter. Barberena has proven his toughness with his come from behind victory versus Sage Northcutt as well as being able to weather Alves’ early storm and take home the decision. For Covington, he will look to pick up his third straight finish proving his worth in the stacked welterweight division.
“He doesn’t get finished, he’s a type of fighter that you can put a high pace on him but you can’t wear yourself out because he’s going to be coming,” Covington said on Barberena. “He’s the type of fighter that as the fight goes on, he progresses and gets stronger so you can’t keep a guy like that in the fight so when you gotta finish him you gotta finish him, you kind of have to pace yourself against a fighter like that.”
Born in Sacramento, he will get to fight in front of his friends and family which has added extra motivation for him. In a card filled with Sacramento’s finest; Team Alpha Male’s Urijah Faber, Paige VanZant and Josh Emmett, Covington will also look to feed off of the crowd’s energy.
“Yeah this is a dream come true, this is everything I’ve ever wanted, this is where I was born and this is right next to where all my friends and family live so I’m going to have a couple of hundred people in the cheering section cheering for me. That gets me excited and a little more pumped up to put on a better show for my people.”
In this training camp he has enlisted the help of former welterweight champion and ATT teammate, Robbie Lawler as well as rising contender Jorge Masvidal who’s coming off an impressive first round win over Jake Ellenberger last week. With elite level teammates by his side, Covington feels that we’ll see the best version of him yet.
“You’re going to see a lot more variety of attacks from me in this fight and definitely, probably expect a knockout. I’ve gotten Robbie Lawler to help this whole camp and that’s been amazing I can’t thank him enough. Jorge Masvidal is my best friend and we’ve been training for six years.”
“The biggest improvement you’ll see is my striking, I feel I’m the best wrestler in the world, the best grappler in the world and you’re about to find out I’m the most well rounded fighter in the world.”
Covington will fight in Sacramento alongside his fellow American Top Team teammates, Brad Pickett and Cole Miller. Using the energy level and talent at the gym to raise his game, Covington is confident he will finish Barberena as he then plans on calling out the top guys in the division.
“I’m going to finish him for sure. I’m not going to say where because I’m not going to let him think that he’s knows what I’m going to do but I’m definitely going to finish him. He’s not making it more than 2 rounds.”
“I’m definitely going to call out the highest ranked guy I can get. I’m not looking for top 15, top 10; I’m looking for that championship belt. I’m going to be calling out the top dogs because that’s what I feel I am right now.”