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Here are five takeaways from Saturday’s fights:
At some point, you are what you say you are.
There’s always been a sense that Covington has been trolling the MMA world with his crass, diehard Donald Trump-supporting gimmick. You expected that behind closed doors, he was a different person.
His words about the Black Lives Matter movement after he beat Woodley on Saturday night cannot be ignored just because they may be part of a marketing gimmick.
Maybe Covington isn’t racist, maybe he is. Saying a movement that’s fighting for equal rights and social justice and for Black people is a “sham” certainly seems racist.
That he has such a large platform to spout those views is a real concern.
2. WHAT’S UP WITH WOODLEY?
For a while, it felt like Woodley was just waiting for his moment to explode. How else could you explain his passivity in a fight where emotions were running this high?
The explosion never happened. Woodley remained passive and was dominated. He doesn’t look like the man he was when he was welterweight champion, although we found out that he broke his rib early in the fight. That does explain a lot.
Woodley has now lost three fights in a row. They’ve all been against top welterweights — including champion Kamaru Usman — and it’s entirely possible that he can dominate middle-of-the-road opponents from here on out.
His time at the top appears to be done, though, and he’s going to likely have many sleepless nights ahead where he lies in bed and wonders why he didn’t try to do more on Saturday night.