Colby Covington fought the biggest fight of his career at UFC 245 when he challenged Kamaru Usman’s welterweight title. But apparently, he was battling other serious problems leading up to the event.
In a recent guesting on the It’s All About Who You Know podcast, “Chaos” revealed he had food poisoning caused by one of the meals prepared by the UFC staff. The incident, he says, almost forced him to pull out.
“I’m not making excuses,” Covington said (transcript by BJPenn.com). “I haven’t really told anybody, but the UFC was preparing meals for me all fight week, and I ended up getting really sick of one of their meals. I think they didn’t cook the chicken very good, and I got food poisoning two nights before the fight. I puked like 30 times, literally like 30 times.”
“I told my manager Dan Lambert ‘I’m going to have to pull out of the fight, man,’” he continued. “He’s like ‘no, you can’t pull out man, you’re the main event. You can’t do this to the UFC, you just need to go through with it.’”
Covington ended up fighting for nearly five rounds before getting stopped via TKO with less than a minute left in the bout. But he admitted that his condition hindered him from doing what he did best.
“I ended up going through with it, but I didn’t feel my best. That kind of played into the decision not to wrestle [in the fight] because I didn’t feel strong,” he explained.
“It’s like I was holding back a little bit because I knew I was puking, my liver and intestines were all messed up and I wasn’t at full strength. So what I’m trying to say is I was on my worst day and ‘Marty Fake Newsman’ was on his best day and I still beat him.
“So you can imagine what’s going to happen in the rematch when I’m at my best and he’s at whatever level he’s at,” Covington added.
Covington will likely have to wait his turn before getting a rematch. According to UFC president Dana White, Usman’s next title defense is against Jorge Masvidal, which takes place at the annual International Fight Week in Las Vegas this July.