“Once a Rat, Always a Rat”- Tai Tuivasa & Russian UFC Star Petr Yan React to Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Statement to Boycott Colby Covington

Published 03/25/2022, 4:18 AM EDT
MOSCOW, RUSSIA SEPTEMBER 2, 2021: Mixed martial artist Khabib Nurmagomedov speaks at the 2nd New Knowledge educational marathon (forum). The New Knowledge Forum runs from 1 to 3 September 2021 as a new school year begins in Russia. Artyom Geodakyan/TASS (Photo by Artyom GeodakyanTASS via Getty Images)

Jorge Masvidal confronting Colby Covington outside a restaurant is by far the hottest news in the MMA and UFC community this week. ‘Gamebred’ Masvidal reportedly attacked ‘Chaos’ Covington after the latter had dinner with the Nelk boys at the Papi Steak house at Miami beach. 

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The incident brought Masvidal widespread backlash and many MMA fans looked down on this unsanctioned brawl. However, after Covington pressed charges against Masvidal, the narrative changed up within the fight community; people began looking at Masvidal’s actions from another point of view. 

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Covington after pressing charges: How the tables have turned? 

Khabib Nurmagomedov posted a tweet that had a message regarding Covington’s comments against Masvidal and his kids. The lightweight GOAT stated that the UFC welterweights should boycott the fighter by refusing to accept fights with him.  

Other fighters in the UFC community agreed with his post as they reposted it with a few comments of their own. UFC heavyweight Tai Tuivasa reposted ‘The Eagle’s message on his story and captioned it, “Once a rat, always a rat.” 

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Former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis also reposted his fellow former lightweight champion’s message. He captioned it “💯💯💯”, agreeing with what Nurmagomedov had to say. 

UFC interim bantamweight champion Petr Yan was another one who reposted Nurmagomedov’s message on his story and tagged Jorge Masvidal. 

Can a boycott against Colby Covington actually happen? 

Khabib Nurmagomedov called forth fighters to boycott ‘Chaos’ by refusing to accept bouts against him. Could a situation like that even happen in the UFC, given Covington’s position and fame? 

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Covington currently sits atop the UFC welterweight contender rankings. Hence, there might not be a way for welterweights to attain a title shot without going through him at some point or another. 

NEWARK, NJ – AUGUST 03: Colby Covington battles Robbie Lawler in their welterweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at the Prudential Center on August 3, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Moreover, everyone knows that Covington forcefully keeps up a persona in order to further his reach and market himself in the world of MMA. This results in big paydays both for himself as well as his opponent. 

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Therefore, considering his stature and track record, a boycott might likely not be possible. What do you think?

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Rohit Raj

241 articles

Rohit Raj is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. As a Business student, Rohit’s love for the UFC was double-sided with the business of it being just as intriguing as the martial arts aspect of it. “Don't just fight, perform” is a quote that he believes drives the most entertaining fights of the UFC, with the likes of Conor McGregor, Chael Sonnen, and Israel Adesanya sweeping him off his feet with their skill as well as swagger and trash talk capabilities.

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