Controversial UFC star and ardent Donald Trump supporter Colby Covington has again turned his fury on Los Angeles Lakers talisman LeBron James’ political views, telling the NBA champ that his “woke bullsh*t” has drawn low ratings.
Middleweight number one Covington has repeated the attack he launched on James last month, wearing a t-shirt bearing the slogan “F*ck LeBron” while standing on a beach between two grinning women in bikinis.
Speaking in the aftermath of James and the Lakers beating Miami Heat to win the NBA title, Covington blamed the Most Valuable Player in the finals for figures that showed audience numbers had been more than 50% down on last year’s deciding series.
“Congratulations are in order for my good buddy, LeBron James,” sneered Covington, in between promoting a gambling partnership.
“Congrats, LeBron, on setting the record for the least-watched NBA finals in history.
“You wish you could blame it on the pandemic but everybody’s just sick of your woke bullsh*t.
“And while the NBA’s ratings are going down, the UFC’s are going up. Just like our bank accounts.”
Covington has posed with the republican candidate for photo opportunities at one of his presidential rallies, met the head of state at the White House and repeatedly worn clothing wearing Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan.
James, by contrast, was named as a “hater” by the president this week, who said he would not watch the finals and would pick former great Michael Jordan over the Lakers legend because of James’s outspoken criticism of the presiding government and support for movements including Black Lives Matter.
The forward hit back by telling Trump that his gaze would not be missed during the finals, which the Lakers won 4-2.
After a bad-tempered, politically-stoked build-up to his resounding victory over Tyron Woodley, which the president had pledged to watch, Covington used his post-fight interview to savage James and other sportspeople who oppose his fiercely-held outlook.
“I want to dedicate this fight to all the first responders, all the military out there,” he announced.
“This world would not be safe without you guys. You keep us safe – not these ‘woke’ athletes.
“I’m sick of these ‘woke’ athletes and these spineless cowards, like LeBron James.”
Finally it wasn’t expected, but the UFC is generating it a reality.
On Sunday, some of the mixed martial arts world’s most important names will sq. up on “Combat Island” for UFC 251.
What is ‘Fight Island’?
It incredibly substantially does what it says on the tin. It truly is an island, in which there will be fighting.
The UFC arrived at an agreement with Abu Dhabi to hold its most the latest function on Yas Island, which is property to luxury accommodations, shorelines, a Components One particular circuit and a golfing class.
You may also have witnessed photographs of an octagon on the seaside, but that, in accordance to the UFC, was crafted solely “for the fighters’ satisfaction” (browse: for promotional photographs). And which is likely a superior factor, contemplating temperatures are expected to nudge 50 levels Celsius on Sunday.
The genuine fights will be held in the air-conditioned Flash Discussion board, where luminaries these kinds of as The Wiggles have executed and the UFC has hosted previous activities, as much back again as 2010 and as lately as final September.
An 11-kilometre extend of the island has been cordoned off as a “safe and sound zone” for the fighters and crew, with staff members expected to quarantine for 14 times in Yas hotels and bear 3 checks in the lead-up.
“Innovative ‘mist tunnels’ — 1.5-metre passageways on entry to the venue — have been additional to sanitise anyone getting into, with the mist killing 99 for every cent of surface germs,” Abu Dhabi’s Section of Tradition and Tourism (DCT) reported.
The whole “protected zone”, according to the DCT, took 350 tonnes of steel and 18 kilometres of cables to build.
Even though the staff members on the island have experienced to quarantine for two months, the fighters touched down in the UAE just a few of days ago and the UFC reported they have been tested on consider-off, landing, two times just after arrival and will be examined after all over again right before the fight.
Soon after Sunday’s bouts, there are at least a few extra combat evenings slated on the island above the up coming two weeks.
How did we get below?
3 months back, White was bragging about how his organisation was likely to be the initial activity to appear back immediately after COVID-19 started out shutting down the globe.
In fact, the activity stopped for virtually two months, from March 15 to May 10, regardless of White’s repeated insistence that they would have situations by means of April.
Even so, Battle Island was on June 10 confirmed as the ninth UFC occasion due to the fact the shutdown.
All of them have long gone ahead with demanding wellness and security steps in place, and no crowds.
He’s scheduled for a rematch with Max Holloway soon after beating the American back in December to turn out to be the sport’s 1st Australian-born winner.
That precedes the principal event: a welterweight title bout in between Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal.
Highlighting the hazards of an event like this in the center of a pandemic, Masvidal himself was not even supposed to be preventing in UFC 251, only finding a shot just after Brazil’s Gilbert Burns tested favourable for coronavirus very last week. Then Masvidal’s coach analyzed optimistic, indicating he couldn’t make the journey.
The other title battle is amongst Russian Petr Yan and Brazilian Jose Aldo for the bantamweight belt.
Somewhere else on the principal card, Rose Namajunas is getting on Jessica Andrade in the strawweight division, and flyweights Paige Vanzant and Amanda Ribas face off.